FOP prez calls vulgar chanters at Krasner victory party 'parasites of the city'

Larry Krasner staffer Ben Waxman, at right, stops supporters profanely chanting against the Fraternal Order of Police at Krasner's victory party Tuesday.

The head of the city's police union said the supporters of Larry Krasner for district attorney who chanted a profane slogan about the Fraternal Order of Police and also chanted "No good cops in a racist system" at Krasner's Democratic primary victory party Tuesday are "the parasites of the city."

"That's what the campaign surrounded itself with," said John McNesby, president of FOP Lodge 5. "That's what we'll have to deal with until the campaign is over."

Officer Eddie Lopez Sr., president of the city's Spanish American Law Enforcement Association, called the chants "disgusting."

"It's disheartening and it's disgusting because whether anybody wants to believe it or not, they're going to take this win as 'Now we have somebody on our side, not the police's side,' " Lopez said.

In an emailed statement Wednesday, Val DiGiorgio, chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, said Democrats who selected Krasner "have added to a dangerous anti-police atmosphere in our country."

"The chants at Larry Krasner's victory party attacking our brave police officers are disgusting and despicable, and frankly scary," DiGiorgio wrote. "Their profanity ridden chants show the current state of Philadelphia's Democrat Party — a party that lacks a more compass and has zero respect for law enforcement."

Krasner, 56, is a defense attorney who has represented many civil rights cases and has sued police and the government more than 75 times, defending everyone from Occupy Philly protesters to Black Lives Matter activists.

Ben Waxman, a spokesman for Krasner's campaign, said in an emailed statement that Krasner has the "highest regard for the vast majority" of Philadelphia police officers.

"He will have their back," Waxman wrote. "But he has also been clear that he has zero tolerance for public misconduct, brutality, or corruption. It's ludicrous to suggest that those things can't coexist."

The FOP had endorsed Rich Negrin, the city's former managing director, for district attorney, as had the Spanish American Law Enforcement Association and the Guardian Civic League, which represents the city's black police officers.

McNesby said that if Krasner is elected, it would be a "rough road" for Philadelphia police officers because Krasner "sent the message early in his career that he's anti-law enforcement."

"My suggestion to the cops is maybe to pull over to the side of the road and call the District Attorney's Office. Don't do a damn thing because you're not going to be covered," McNesby said. "His election to that position would be catastrophic to the department and the community as a whole."

Of the crowd of up to 400 people at Krasner's victory party Tuesday night at a Center City apartment building, about a dozen people shouted "F- the FOP." Waxman quickly shut the group down. But later, and at several points during the celebration, a larger crowd chanted, "No good cops in a racist system."

McNesby on Wednesday labeled the shouters as "the parasites of the city, the rabble-rousers, the protesters, the s- starters."

Lopez said that if Krasner is elected, police officers might worry that the deck will be stacked against them if they find themselves in a police-involved shooting.

"It puts you on edge," Lopez said. "Now you're going to have to second-guess yourself, which is not a good thing. It could end up costing your life or a civilian's life if you second-guess yourself."

McNesby said the FOP had not determined whether it would endorse Krasner's Republican opponent, Beth Grossman.

"I can tell you we're going to be talking to Beth and anybody else that may come out as an independent in the future," he said. "Listen, we're not going to shut our doors on this guy [Krasner] either. If he wants to talk, we'll be available."

Waxman said Krasner is "more than willing" to meet with the FOP and others who may have supported his opponents in the primary.

"Larry knows that he is charged with representing every person in the city and that justice makes us all safer," Waxman said.

Staff writer Julia Terruso contributed to this article.

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