Joining Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner Endorses Elizabeth Warren for President - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Joining Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner Endorses Elizabeth Warren for President

District Attorney Larry Krasner's endorsement follows Mayor Jim Kenney's own endorsement of Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren

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    Joining Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner Endorses Elizabeth Warren for President
    Matt Rourke/AP (File) / Getty Images
    Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

    Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has picked up another major Philadelphia endorsement after the city's district attorney announced his support of her campaign.

    Larry Krasner, considered one of the country's so-called progressive prosecutors, issued the endorsement in a Wednesday morning news release in which he highlighted the Massachusetts senator's focus on economic justice, and said her message dovetails with the issues of race and criminal justice reform.

    "She's been very, very clear that she understands the direct connection between racism and law enforcement in communities of color and its consequences, in terms of a discriminatory and disproportionate use of jail cells, and prosecutions, and legal resources against people of color," Krasner said.

    An endorsement video from Kasner showed him discussing criminal justice reform with Warren, who backed the "notion that we should be spending a whole lot less money on locking people up and a whole lot more money on lifting people up."

    The district attorney's endorsement follows Mayor Jim Kenney's own endorsement of Warren a week earlier.

    Krasner, a former criminal defense lawyer, was overwhelmingly elected Philadelphia's district attorney on a reformist platform in 2017. He has made changes like reducing mass incarceration — by refusing to convict people for small amounts of marijuana possession and removing cash bail recommendations for low-level offenses, among other reforms — central tenets of his tenure as the city's top prosecutor.

    His policies have drawn the ire of various political figures, however, including the president himself.

    In May, President Donald Trump singled out Krasner and Chicago District Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx as being part of a "dangerous trend" by deciding not to prosecute "many criminals who pose a severe threat to public safety and community well-being."

    He has also openly sparred with Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney William McSwain, who has questioned Krasner's commitment to crime victims.

    The district attorney has steadfastly defended his policies, however, pointing to Philadelphia Police Department data that shows that while the city continues to grapple with homicides, overall violent crime has decreased. In 2018, overall violent crimes were down 5% from the year prior, and 2017's overall violent crime rate was 3% lower than in 2016, according to the department's data.

    Along the way, Krasner has received endorsements from progressive organizations like Our Revolution, which backed his campaign for office in 2017. The group, which recruits progressive candidates and helps them run for office, famously backed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist who last year unseated an incumbent Democrat in New York's 14th District.

    Krasner pointed to Warren's own progressive credentials as he issued his endorsement.

    "I'm endorsing Elizabeth Warren because her plans fundamentally change how we address crime. She is trying to make our system fair," Krasner said. "... She is here to serve the interests of working people, middle-class people, and poor people. It's clear to me that this is also about criminal justice — it's two sides of the same coin. It's not just words, it is actions."