District Attorney Krasner Statement on Security Threats Ahead of Presidential Inauguration
Jane Roh, 215–686–8711, Jane.Roh@phila.gov
PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 14, 2021) — District Attorney Larry Krasner on Thursday issued a statement on local law enforcement’s commitment to holding accountable anyone who unlawfully attempts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power ahead of the presidential inauguration on January 20th:
“Earlier today, my office filed additional charges against defendants Joshua Macias and Antonio LaMotta for what we allege was a criminal attempt to disrupt the democratic process. The Commonwealth will be prepared to show that when these individuals drove all the way up from Virginia on November 5th in a Hummer — carrying materials including automatic weapons, ammunition, and a lock-picking kit — it was for purposes far more nefarious than sight-seeing.
“Following a hearing this morning, we are proceeding on the following charges for both individuals: Attempted interference with primaries and elections (F3), Conspiracy (F3), and Hindering or delaying performance of a duty (M).
“We should all be relieved and grateful that we will never know what would have happened on November 5th if it wasn’t for the quick thinking and decisive action of Philadelphia Police, acting on information from the FBI. Officers located and arrested these individuals near the Convention Center while election workers dutifully canvassed votes without interruption.
“Despite facing illegal weapons charges and an ongoing investigation by my office of their actions, both of these individuals decided to participate in a seditious attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, as results of the presidential election were being certified by Congress. Following motions my office filed to revoke bail, the court today set additional conditions on their release, including a prohibition on social media activity. We will be back in court to argue that greater restrictions should be placed on Joshua Macias and Antonio LaMotta, considering the danger these individuals pose to both public safety and American democracy.
“The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has also re-activated our Election Task Force hotline: 215–686–9641. Threats to the democratic process, inspired by a twice-impeached president, have not ceased since Election Day.
“The unprecedented sight of National Guard troops stationed inside of the U.S. Capitol, and of law enforcement protecting state capitols including our own in Harrisburg, should shock us all awake. Our democracy is young. Events of the past four years have shown both the resilience and fragility of the American project: building a truly inclusive, multi-racial, and just society.
“I want to be clear: Anyone in Philadelphia County who attempts to disrupt the peace ahead of President-elect Joseph Biden’s inauguration will be held accountable by local law enforcement and by my office. Our democracy is too precious, and holds too much promise, not to protect with all of our power and authority.”
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million citizens of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually.