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The Post  
DA Krasner Updates Officer Shooting; Two Men ID'd DE Plane Crash; US vs Safehouse in Federal Court
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/20/19 3:18 am | updated: 08/20/19 3:18 am
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner held a brief press conference on Monday morning, 8/19, to discuss charges brought against the shooter in last week's standoff in North Philly's Tioga/Nicetown section. Six police officers were shot and wounded in that barricade situation. 36-year-old Maurice Hill is charged with Multiple counts of Murder-Attempt to Commit, Aggravated of Assault, Assault of Law Enforcement Officer, Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Unlawful Restraint, Criminal Conspiracy, Possessing Instruments of Crime, Possession of Firearm with Altered Manufacture's Number, Violation of Uniform Firearms Act-Former Convict, Causing-Risking a Catastrophe, Control Substance Act-Manufacture/Delivery/Possession with Intent to Deliver, and Control Substance Act- Knowingly/Intentionally Possession of Control Substance. He was arraigned Saturday and denied bail. Four other suspects are facing charges of possession with the intent to deliver, conspiracy, possession of drugs and paraphernalia charges. Barbiturates and marijuana were found at the scene.

Krasner explained that this was a "factually complicated case" that could take months to complete. That is due to the extensive amount of evidence that needs to be processed, including nearby surveillance footage, 250 officer-worn body cams, and the extraction of over 100 bullets from the scene. "It could take months but it will be done correctly and so I want you here today and the public to know that we might not be in the news talking about the investigation all the time but we are continuing to work to build this case so it can be brought to court," Krasner explained.

The two men who lost their lives in a small plane crash in New Castle County, Delaware, on Sunday morning, 8/18, have been identified by Delaware State Police. 52-year-old Terrence Daniels of Mount Airy, Philadelphia, and 79-year-old instructor Albert Dohring of Middletown, Delaware, were on the plane when it crashed into a wooded area just minutes after take off. It happened just before 9 a.m. about a mile from the New Castle County Airport. Daniels was an avid pilot and an army veteran. He earned a master's degree from St. Joe's while recovering in a hospital bed from wounds suffered in Iraq. He also earned a doctorate from Drexel. Dohring was a certified commercial pilot and flight instructor. The cause of the crash is being investigated by the FAA and NTSB.

A potentially precedent setting legal battle played out at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia on Monday, 8/19. U.S. Attorney William McSwain preemptively sued Safehouse to stop the non-profit from opening a 'safe injection site' in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood. U.S. District Judge Gerald McHugh Jr. heard arguments from both sides in U.S. vs Safehouse. A safe site is a place where drug addicts can go to use their narcotics under the supervision of trained medical personnel who will be able to revive them in case of overdose or other medical emergency. Proponents of safe sites say that they save lives because the drug user can receive immediate medical aid if necessary. If that same user was on the street somewhere by themselves they could died before proper aid arrives. Philadelphia has one the highest overdose rates in the country, over three times the homicide rate. Safe sites also over other services including clean needles and pathways to treatment. Safehouse has the support of many of the area's democratic leaders.

McSwain is arguing that the site, by its very nature and operations, would be breaking federal laws. One notable law, usually referred to as the Crack House Law or 21 USC § 856, states that:

"(a)Unlawful acts - it shall be unlawful to
knowingly open, lease, rent, use, or maintain any place, whether permanently or temporarily, for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, or using any controlled substance;
manage or control any place, whether permanently or temporarily, either as an owner, lessee, agent, employee, occupant, or mortgagee, and knowingly and intentionally rent, lease, profit from, or make available for use, with or without compensation, the place for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing, or using a controlled substance."

Safehouse, and safe sites in general, also have opponents not relevant to the legal questions in this suit. Some do not like the proposed location and do not want it in their neighborhood. Others say that a safe site is just encouraging/normalizing drug use and is perhaps prolonging someone's addiction. Others would rather see the money spent getting people off the street and into programs to stop using altogether. It is true that overdoses will be reversed at the site, but does allowing people to continue to use solve the problem?

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