Shortly after getting sworn into office, activists pressed Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to investigate the fatal police shooting of Dennis Plowden, an unarmed Black man, Metro reported. Krasner campaigned as a progressive criminal justice reformer, and now it’s time to live up to his promises.
“It is going to be a test for any DA, but particularly for him, because he ran on reform. We are going to hold Larry Krasner as we hold any politician to promises. … He will be held accountable on this,” said Asa Khalif, a Philadelphia-based Black Lives Matter organizer.
The fatal shooting stems from a Dec. 27 police traffic stop. Officers suspected that Plowden vehicle was connected to a Dec. 21 murder, but Plowden was not a suspect in that case, the police said. Plowden stopped the car but then accelerated, hitting the police car and other parked vehicles before fleeing on foot. The details of what happened next are unclear, the Philadelphia Tribune said. Plowden ended up sitting on a curb, refusing to show his hands. He allegedly made a “furtive movement” that Officer Eric Ruch responded to by firing a shot that struck Plowden’s head. There is no dispute that Plowden was unarmed.
“I just want the truth. I have a 7-month-old son who is not going to have a father; my 8-year-old daughter is fatherless. When we know the truth, he will be able to rest in peace. When I know the truth, I will have peace,” Plowden’s wife, Tania Bond, said, according to the Tribune.
Krasner, a civil rights attorney, swept 31 staffers, including several murder squad prosecutors and high ranking deputies, out of his officer in his first week on the job, WPVI-TV reported. “D.A. Krasner was given clear mandate from voters for transformational change,” a statement from his office said. But it remains to bee seen how he will move on this police shooting.
Meanwhile, Khalif has no intention of waiting too long to see how Krasner handles the Plowden case. “It’s an unnecessary shooting. But I told you, the Philadelphia police will kill again because there is no accountability. There is no justice for the Black and brown people they murder,” the activist said, according to the Tribune.