On August 25, 2017, Philadelphia elementary school teacher John Sheerin was arrested and charged with terroristic threats and harassment against a police officer during a protest at the Frank Rizzo statue on August 16, 2017. Video shows Sheerin profanely threatening to beat police.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states:
Congress shall make no law…or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,or of the right of the people to peaceably assemble, …
However, crimes should not and cannot be permitted to be cloaked within that Constitutional right; nor can they be committed for the sake of political expediency. You do not have the right to threaten a police officer or anyone else. No matter what the agenda of a protest is, whether a District Attorney supports it or denounces such, if a crime is committed against a police officer during the course of a protest by a protestor, then that individual should be charged appropriately
Sheerin, along with Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif and others, also attended the August 24, 2017 protest in front of the home of a Philadelphia police officer who is currently under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office for the June line-of-duty shooting of David Jones. I make no comment upon the David Jones shooting; I am not privy to all of the facts and/or evidence. Nor do I pass judgment on the BLM movement, but I disagree with the tactics used. No one should have to hear profanity loudly spewed in his or her neighborhood.
My opponent is supported by Asa Khalif, who is one of his most vocal supporters and with whom he travels to various events on the campaign trail. As a criminal defense attorney, my opponent has represented BLM. I have no bones with any of this. But it bears thought what my opponent would do if elected District Attorney and a member of BLM threatens and harasses a police officer while protesting. Would he do the appropriate thing and recuse himself because of this conflict of interest? Will he charge other protestors– whose causes he may support – if they harm and/or threaten a police officer? Will he even charge individuals who physically harm officers during the course of his or her duties?
Having someone angrily call you a motherfucker and pig to your face all the while remaining professional and silent cannot be easy for law enforcement. I support the First Amendment and our right to protest. But I am damn well also support those Philadelphia Police officers who honorably, honestly and lawfully serve Philadelphia every day.