Independent Lens


Part 5 | Philly D.A | Episode 5

Convicted of homicide as a teen, Joseph Chamberlain prays for forgiveness while dreaming of a reunion with the love of his life. For years, Philadelphia led the country in sentencing juveniles like Chamberlain to life in prison without parole. Now the D.A.’s office is seeking second chances, but a murder spike that has local media pointing fingers at Krasner threatens to halt their plans.

AIRED: May 11, 2021 | 0:55:50

Previously on "Philly DA..."

- For 30 years, the policy was "lock 'em up.

Lock more of 'em up. Lock 'em up for longer."

- From the very beginning, District Attorney Larry Krasner

developed policies that focused on second chances

as opposed to punishment.

- This is the seventh year anniversary of my son's death.

For me to work on victim services

in my son's memory is awesome for me.

- Our family is angry.

This DA is not for the victims.

- Do you favor criminals, is the question.

- This is a call from...

- Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution.

- This call is subject to recording and monitoring.

- And, um...

[buzzer buzzing]

[dramatic music]

- Welcome to Radio Times.

Let's talk about juvenile lifers.

Philadelphia apparently sentenced more teenagers

to life than any other jurisdiction.

- Pennsylvania had more juvenile lifers at the time

the Supreme Court said

that juvenile life was unconstitutional,

than any other state

and than any other country in the world.

- So since the Supreme Court made that decision,

what has your office done on this issue?

- We are charged with conducting the resentencings.

In general, our recommendations

are lower than the prior administration.

- Because...what, we change? - Yeah, people can change.

[phone ringing]

[indistinct chatter]

- I'm gonna give you Bob's copy.

All right, we are considering new sentencing

of defendant Joseph Chamberlain.

This case is from April 20th, 1992.

It's a first degree murder case.

The victim in this case was a 15 year old

by the name of Sultan Ahmad.

Ahmad and the defendant, Mr. Chamberlain,

had an ongoing fight.

On this date, Sultan Ahmad

went over to the home of a co-defendant in this case,

whose name was Kasam Hennix.

Hennix called and let Chamberlain know

that Ahmad was at his home.

At that point, Joseph Chamberlain

grabbed a shotgun from his closet.

The gun was hidden and the three of them

walked to the park. Once they were in the park,

Chamberlain pulled the gun out and handed it to Hennix,

who said he accidentally shot Sultan Ahmad in both legs.

The gun jammed.

He handed the gun back to Chamberlain who fixed it

and then shot the victim in the stomach and the head.

The bottom line is that this was an assassination.

The victim in this case, Sultan Ahmad--you actually know

the family before this happened, right?

And after... - That's correct.

The father was-- worked in the mayor's office.

- This case was originally a death penalty case.

The jury came back with a first degree conviction.

And Joseph Chamberlain was sentenced to life,

plus two and a half years consecutive.

Mr. Chamberlain had 20 misconducts.

The last one had been in 2013,

and that was for tattooing himself.

He'd also gotten his GED.

- I mean, this adjustment ranks how in general?

- I would say this is a very average

and non-concerning adjustment.

There was nothing about this adjustment

that caused me pause.

- No criminal prosecutions... - No.

- And two or three assaultive incidents in 24 years.

- There are some people,

who in my view should never leave jail,

but not many.

There is a much, much larger number of people

who, without the slightest hope of freedom...

You know, became really useful people,

decent people in jail.

None of it made up for the crime they had committed,

but all of it defined who they had become

at a certain point later in their life.

This ideology that people never change,

that the world is only made up of monsters

and saints just isn't true.

Everything that I've experienced

in 30 years in criminal justice

tells me that even people who have done

monstrous things early in life...

seldom are monsters when they are much older.

What we're doing is an existential threat

to fundamental views about human beings.

[somber music]

- Joseph Chamberlain left the courtroom knowing

he'd never see freedom again.

He and co-defendant Kasam Hennix

were convicted of killing 15-year-old Sultan Ahmad

with a sawed-off shotgun in Hunting Park 2 years ago.

Hennix got a third-degree verdict.

Chamberlain was convicted of first degree murder.

- Ahmad's father, a city official

known for his active stance against youth violence.

He has established a scholarship in his son's name

as one step in his continued battle against violence.

- We're working to put a message

of anti-violence out there.

Trying to help young people to create a situation

of mediating through non-violence

and trying to deal with conflict resolution.

These are Sultan.

That's Sultan right there.

That's my man.

Sultan Jihad Ahmad.

And this is one of the portrait pictures that we had of him.

- Is that the one that they painted?

- Yeah, they painted a portrait of this picture.

Those were his favorite colors: blue, mauve, and teal.

Sultan was a young, energetic young man.

He was quite active in...

in a lot of community activities.

His grandfather gave him the name called Eatmore.

They gave him that name because every time

he went to his grandfather's house,

he would eat up everything that was over there.

- Yeah.

- So those were good memories.

[children playing outside]

In '92, the police came to meet with me

and told me that there was some tragic news.

You know, I didn't see--think of it in any way personal

because we work with the police department,

so I just thought something had happened

or I thought my son got involved with something.

And then they told us that he was murdered in Hunting Park.

And, you know, my whole world kind of collapsed right then.

- I thought something had happened to him.

And when I got in there, he was just a wreck.

And I'm, like...

You know, it was horrible.

It was really horrible.

A parent's worst nightmare.

I was for the death penalty.

You know, I really was.

I was hurt. You know, you took my child,

so you need to die too, as far as I was concerned.

[soft music]

- You're welcome.

I remember when your son was shot.

I remember that.

- People have good intentions and they say,

"I knew how you feel," but they really don't.

But you know how we feel. - You do.

- Because you're a mother who's lost one too.

- So...the conversation on Monday

is going to be about Chamberlain

and the conditions of his release.

You can say you don't want him released.

So, all the time you need to take...

- They make a ruling right then and there?

- No. - No.

- No, they take everything under consideration

and they make that later,

and then they'll notify you of their ruling.

- So the question is, how do we know that for a fact?

Like, what if he still had malice in his heart beat,

you know, against our family?

You know what I mean? - You don't know.

- There's nothing that you can determine about that.

Right now it's time for us to

not begin to, I think, turn ourselves backwards

so we're, you know, trying to relive that past.

Because I don't think we're capturing any--

- It's not a point about trying to relive the past.

I mean, you're going to live it as long as you're alive.

So it's not reliving the past.

We can't determine what Joseph is gonna do

once he's released. - Right.

- Whatever he does, he's going to do it.

Be good, bad, or indifferent.

- Right.

- He wants to meet with Chamberlain personally,

face-to-face. - Absolutely.

That's important. Yes.

- You don't agree, Harriet?

- That's all on him.

- I would want to sit down with him.

I would want to really talk with him.

One-on-one, man-to-man.

And see what that brings about.

- But can we know what's really in somebody's heart?

I don't think so.

What we can do is we can look at their actions.

The young man that took my son's life,

it's nothing that he can do

that'll take that pain away, right?

But if he can help another person from offending

or from killing somebody else...

For me, giving him a chance is worth it...

because what we really want at the end of the day--

and I know that's what your family works for every day--

is for this to stop. Like, for this to just stop.


- I am not an attorney as you can tell by my attire.

I do not have to dress up nicely

like everybody else here, which is a perk I think.

I am a criminologist, which means that I have a PHD

in criminology, law, and justice.

I joined the office to help be

a part of this exciting reform.

- Have you, in your legal analysis

or policy analysis,

found any kind of confirmation

that refocusing our energies away from low-level violations

will be better preventing violent crimes?

- I can't think of research that suggests

that enforcing low-level crimes reduces serious crimes.

Broken windows in New York might be spoken about,

but now they've stopped enforcing

those low-level crimes and crime hasn't gone back up.

Generally, we think that policy is data driven.

Criminal justice, that's probably the exception

instead of the rule.

[indistinct chatter]

Historically in this office, it has been

the use of gut feelings

and that is how we got into this mess, largely,

because you're making decisions,

you're changing policies,

you're not knowing how it's going.

There's a plan for data transparency and releasing...

The DA values data and science.

That's a major part of the culture change.

We're not doing policy based on what a few people think.

We're doing policy based on things that we can describe,

that are concrete, that we can stand up on

and say this is why we did it.

And to be able to talk about that,

it just does even more power to it.


- Somebody one day is going to do something,

maybe kill a cop, kill a kid.

And you're going to be faced with it.

And somebody says they could have been in jail.

And you'll say, but let's look at the preponderance

of the evidence. The evidence bears out

what I wanted to do,

but you know how emotional things are.

And if it is a cop or is a child,

it'll be a hell storm. Are you prepared for that?

And I wonder, do you wake up every day,

wondering, "Is today the day it comes around

and I gotta deal with this?"

- So every day, you do live to some extent

on pins and needles that something terrible can happen

and you have to deal with it.

But, you know, we gotta get real about this stuff.

It is risk management and it's based on science.

The way this type of progressive prosecution

survives is by somehow teaching the media

and somehow teaching the public

that there is a thing called science.

And that we do not simply rely on

a single terrible incident

to decide whether this is good risk management

or bad risk management.

We have to actually look at the bigger picture.

- With all due respect, everything you said,

just made sense, but you know, as well as I do,

a lot of your office is public perception and reaction.

- Right. - And when people are upset,

they don't pause for the metrics.

- Breaking news right now.

A two-year-old girl

shot and killed in North Philadelphia.

- A weekend of deadly gun violence--

16 shootings since Friday.

- Violence has surged in the city

with shooting after shooting.

- Five people injured, including four teenagers.

One adult dead during a graduation party,

near a playground last night.

- Do you consider keeping Philadelphia residents safe

to be the number one priority of this office?

- Yes. And there's a way--

- Do you think that's clear to people?

- These violent weekends. What can be done to end those?

- But how do you stop the kind of carnage

that happened this weekend and stop it immediately?

- I know this isn't politics,

but the real solutions are structural.

It has to do with proper public education,

keeping young men in high school

and then getting them onto jobs and so on.

- Do you agree that there is

a public safety crisis in Philadelphia?

- Yesterday the police commissioner seemed to imply

that people who carry guns

don't feel concern about being prosecuted.

Do you think he's talking to you?

- Our rate of rejecting gun cases is under 2%.

Violent crime in Philadelphia

is actually down since we took office.

- What has your office done to lower shootings and homicides?

- This problem is beyond just the police;

it's beyond just the DA.

- People aren't afraid of being arrested.

- You're arguing that it's a structural issue.

- I think we all...

- A 24-year-old got killed, shot in the back.

- Do you think you're too light on sentences?

- Seth Williams did not stop this from happening.

Lynne Abraham did not stop this from happening.

They were talking the same game the whole time.

"We're gonna deter crime by being tough,"

and it got us here.

It's been established not really to work.

- But if they're not on the street,

they can't shoot anybody.

Who was DA when

there were dozens of people shot over the weekend?

- I was.

- Is that not your responsibility then?

[tense music]

- As much violence as we see in this profession

and in this area,

a lot of us are worried.

The last two months, we had a ten-year-old killed,

an 11-month-old shot.

And he's still fighting for his life.

Shortly after that, there was another shooting.

The lieutenant calls me and he says,

"You're not gonna believe this."

He says, "We have another child shot."

And he says it's a two-year-old.

And he's telling me, it doesn't look good.

The baby's-- the baby's gonna die.

[sirens chirping]

[helicopter blades whirring]

You know, you get to the point where it's, like...

it's not unbelievable. You know?

It's just a matter of, all right,

when's the next child gonna be killed?

I'm at a loss.

I think we all are.

We need a DA who really wants to see these guys put away.

Let's stop worrying about prisoners

or people who choose the life that they are living

and let's start worrying about

the actual people who live here.

- Come here. Come here, come here.

I have a couple questions.

Why are you not in full uniform?

[children chattering]


[upbeat ringtone playing]


- This is a call from... - Pennsylvania State

Correctional Institution. - Miss Nadira,

I'm going in here, okay?

Good morning. Hey, baby.

- Hey, what's up?

- Nothing much. What's up with you?

I mean, just the normal crazy around here.

A very crazy day.

I got your cards.

- Yes, they were really, really nice.

- And I showed the kids your artwork.

So they want you to teach them some art.

- [laughing]

- Yeah?

- Did they put you on the list to see the parole man?

- How are you feeling overall?

[phone chirping] - You have one minute left.

- Yeah.

[both smooching]

- Thank you for using Securis. - I know, all right.

- Goodbye.

- Okay!

You guys ready to go upstairs?

- Yeah. - Yeah?

- I was 14. He was 16 when we first met.

He was cute. He was definitely cute.

He wasn't my boyfriend. It was more of a crush,

prior to him getting into this trouble.

But he's always stayed in touch.

So I send him pictures and he draws it.

He does it all freehand.

Very nice, right?

They're amazing.

And then he'll stare at a picture hours at a time

for one detail.

[somber music]

[indistinct chatter] - Hey, Jen!

- Hi, Avila. - Hi!

- Gorgeous. [indistinct chatter]

- What's up, Jen?

- Me and my wife sat down.

We were not going to have a pity party.

And we just decided we gonna do something.

- I came up with the idea

to have the mothers' prayer breakfast

for the women

that have lost a child or loved ones to violence.

So we've been doing it, I think, 17 or 18 years.

Just come and... [sighs]

Relieve yourself, hug somebody, you know.

Just talk to somebody.

That's all.

- I just wanna say a few words.

I'm not a long-distance speaker for...

- Ooh. - You know, I don't speak

too well, and I don't speak too long.

[applause] This year would be 27 years

since the death of Sultan.

I know, when I was first told that Sultan was murdered,

my family was there.

My wife was there to pull me up.

So it really shows that it is faith, family, and community

that makes a difference.

And we decided, at that point,

that we were not gonna just cry.

We were going to make a difference

and an effort to help look at this issue of youth violence

and try to find some solution to it.

- Well, Brother Sultan, I think you done said it all,

for somebody that wasn't gonna talk long.


- My son was killed

in August of 1976.

You never forget that night.

[murmurs of agreement]

- It hurts. It hurts every day.

I go past the cemetery, and I speak to my boys.

I love you. I love you, I love you.

- I thank God for Sultan and Harriet.

They encouraged us.

We got a lot of lost young men out in these streets, y'all.

They need encouragement.

We gotta tell them that we love them.

We gotta take our schools back, take our streets back.

Only love can do it.

Only love. [applause]

[nearby traffic]

- [sighs]

- So this is everything from my son's case.

I had a wonderful district attorney

who included me every step of the way,

including when I had to request all the records

from the morgue,

from the hospital the night he was shot.

I read every single page.

I know how many ounces of blood they put in my son.

It's my son.

It's really ironic that I'm here.

And then it's...


because my son was so much more than two boxes of paper.

[somber music]

And these are people's lives,

in boxes all over this building.

- I want to start by asking how many people here...

Just raise your hand

if you have been affected by a homicide.

Keep your hand up

if that person was under 21 years of age.

Our young people are in crisis.

86% of the homicide victims?

African-American males. That says it all.

- I am a co-victim of homicide.

My 18-year-old son, Charles Andre Johnson,

was shot right down the street at Washington Lane.

As a direct result of that, I had the intimate job

of engaging these young people who were those identified

as likely to shoot or be shot.

And they wanted out.

They want out.

They don't know how to get out.

Our children are in a hopeless state.



- I did 14 1/2 years in prison.

I don't know nothing. - Did they help with housing?

- They didn't help me with nothing.

- These kids don't got no skills,

nobody to look up to, no mentors,

no nothing in this hood.

So it's gonna be that every day all day.

I don't care how many--

You could have the whole police force down here.

That's not gonna change what's going in the hood.

- These young men, what do you think

they need the most right now?

- I was getting ready to say that.

Young men really have a mindset to change,

but they gotta have a chance.

- These kids out here really don't wanna do the shooting.

They don't have no homes to go to.

They're not-- they don't--they can't eat.

How many times, Raoul, have you fed somebody?

How many times have you helped somebody for sleeping,

for bedding? - Yeah.

- I have 6 kids and I don't want

none of my kids to be killed.

That's my biggest fear before I leave this earth.

- Why are we killing each other in Philly?

- Here's the reality.

This city spends $3/4 billion

on law enforcement, including my office.

They spend 15 million on violence prevention.

Unless you invest in the prevention,

then the police and the prosecution are,

frankly, cleaning up the mess.

- It's great we're thinking long-term,

but what about the now?

Many people are saying we're scared right now.

- Well, how did we get to now? We got to now because,

last time this came up, everybody said,

"We want a solution now. We don't want to actually do

stuff that works, stuff that's hard.

Stuff that's different makes us uncomfortable.

We just want to do something now."

We need to put money in schools,

we need to put money into drug treatment,

we need to prosecute in different ways.

- But your office can't put money into schools.

How are you--I'm just trying to get that clear.

- So when you say we can't put money in schools,

oh, yes, we can.

The fact is that the amount of money that is spent

when a judge decides to give a 50 year sentence

where the appropriate sentence might have been 10

is on the order of $2.1 million, okay?

That is one sentence for one courtroom, one day.

That is money that should be in our public schools.

And so we cannot view this in a siloed way.

We have tried it for 30 years and it failed.

- Hello, this is a prepaid collect call from...

- Pooh. [phone chirps]

- You got questions for parole.

- But, but--wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

- Mm-mm, you're not gonna give that speech at the end, right?

It's a little scary to hear you, like,

"Well, at the end, I'm gonna make sure

I say everything." Be vulnerable.

- Yes, I did, love.

- This was a 15-year-old

killed by a 16-year-old

and a 17-year-old accomplice.

It was a situation that should never have happened.

But I think I went further

to the blame of the access of the gun

and the whole idea that there were guns

that young people could get their hands on so easy.

That part...

it resonates in my heart every day.

[phone trilling]

- Communications.

Yeah, this is Ben.

- This afternoon, US Attorney William McSwain

lobbied a volley of criticism against Philadelphia

District Attorney Larry Krasner.

-The policies that his office is pursuing

are a danger to Philadelphia.

There's a very very strong correlation here.

Common sense tells you if you're pursuing

an anti-law enforcement agenda,

and then homicides go up,

that has something to do with it.

When the office leads the charge

for lenient bail conditions, when the office

consistently undercharges violent crime cases,

when its overall stated priority is decarceration,

and when the District Attorney refers to himself as

a Public Defender with power,

violent criminals take notice of all of that

and they become emboldened.

- I'm confident that the policies have not been

the cause of the rise in the number of shootings.

We haven't seen anything in the data.

- Alright, there are things I need to understand here.

I see your overall numbers for recidivism.

- We actually calculated how many additional people

were released because of the policy.

It's like 2000 people, it's a big number.

And there weren't negative side effects with recidivism

or with failure to appear.

- These policies that were so, you know, attacked, worked.

- Yeah.

- Thelma and Louise haven't quite gone off the cliff yet.

- It's unusual where you have external,

independent professors at two different schools,

evaluate your policy and basically say,

"Yeah, what you wanted to happen, happened."

The office is putting fear

into the hearts of law-abiding citizens

who have to deal with the terror of homicide

and other violent crime in their neighborhood.

- Nobody here is pro-crime. [bleep] him twice.

- It's an attempt to stir up fear in a city

where this man doesn't even live.

So let's talk about science.

- All right, you ready?

- I got this. - All right.

- Yeah. [laughs]

- We have to have conversations around criminal justice

that are based in fact,

that are based in evidence and based in science.

What is not called science is claiming that it's quote,

"Common sense," unquote, that if homicides go up,

then they were caused by the District Attorney.

And what's even less scientific is to put up a prepared board,

showing the levels of homicides over the last six years,

which shows that homicides went up for five consecutive years,

and blame the District Attorney's administration

that's been in one year.

That is what just happened.

- Critics say that too often, people cherry pick statistics,

maybe McSwain's doing it in this case,

and you're doing it with that report.

What would you say to those critics?

That everyone tries to--

- Mr. McSwain is essentially not presenting any statistics.

What he said is that it's common sense.

That if homicides go up for the fifth consecutive year,

it's all my fault.

We did our own data, metrics, analysis,

which came to certain conclusions about bail reform.

That is called science.

- His argument is as you let more violent criminals out,

those criminals are on the streets.

That also attracts more criminals to those areas.

And you're going to have more violent crime.

That's his rationale.

- People can say anything. Here's the reality.

- Doesn't that--

- Here's the reality. Let me answer your question.

He can give me a report in which he can show me

that any one of those things is true.

But we all know the truth. He doesn't have one.

- Don't you guys have to find some way, personally,

to work together for the betterment of the citizens?

- This was done for reasons that are political.

And the reality is that... Just one second, may I finish?

I also am mindful that when you deal with a bully,

sometimes they're not interested in working together.

And sometimes

all that you can do is control your own behavior.

- Well, another press conference with Larry Krasner.

This is not the happiest I've ever seen Larry Krasner,

but, you know, he--

Larry walks to the beat of his own drum.

- Even if you're doing a policy really well,

there are outliers. There's going to be times

when things go wrong and people get hurt.

It's incredibly hard for data to win out over emotion.

There are those narratives out there that reform

is related to violence. And even if they're not true,

it just becomes political capital.

I mean risk is a big part of it.

It's just easy to do things the same way.

- [sighs]

[somber music]

- My wife, myself, and my family

all feel that something was taken away from us.

A spear was put into our heart,

a day that we will never forget,

a day of unbelievable hurt.

We are here to let it be known

that I don't know what kind of man he will become.

I don't know what kind of things

he has done to change his life,

but I'm gonna have to send a spear in his heart for him

to consider the growth that's needed.

But we're not here for vengeance.

I believe that every person

should have an opportunity to grow.

You have to own up to what you do.

You have to pay for what you do.

And when you're given an opportunity,

you have to do the right thing.

- Hi, are we meeting in your office or Larry's?

- Yeah.

The defendant is inside of the store.

One of his friends gets into a scrap with the decedent.

The fight spills outside.

The defendant raises his gun.

And even though it's a running, moving target,

he shoots one time, hits him

in the back of the head, kills him.

- What do we know about the victim?

Do we know anything? - 18 year old kid,

prior robbery and an escape.

They were--oh, they were both out

on home passes from juvenile supervision.

Both of them had cut their GPS bands off.

And so they're out running around in the city

when they were supposed to be on juvenile supervision.

That's tragedy.

- You got an 18 year old kid that's dead.

And you got a-- now a 19 year old kid

who's going to spend decades in prison.

[somber music]

- Day in and day out, it's huge emotional stuff.

Like when you're doing the juvenile lifer cases,

and oftentimes meeting with the victim's family,

and sometimes the defendants.

It's a lot easier when you're just meeting with one side

and you don't have to try to figure out

what's the just position.

- I did it today actually. - Who did you meet with today?

- A person who did something...


- This is what I mean.

- It was a guy who killed his neighbor,

who raped her with a shower pole.

- No.

You met him? - Yep.

It's just like, tell me why

I should not be scared that you're gonna get out

and go to a bar and meet some woman and...

She's gonna die. Tell me.

Layer it on being a victim of...

Something that looks a little bit like what you did.

He was 14 years old.

He was being repeatedly raped by her husband.

So it's just like...

It's somewhat complicated by the notion of...

Being in jail into your mid-40s

from the time of early puberty...

And what the hell does that mean about what comes out?

- If you don't feel it...

Then you can't make good decisions.

But you also can't live in fear and say...

"I'm just going to lock people up forever."

- You may start the conversation now.

- It looks like a great day. It's your hearing day.

- You nervous? Did you sleep?

- No? You ain't take the tea?

- No, Sleepy Time Tea works for everybody.

- Oh, okay.

That'll be our secret. - Yeah.

- Are you gonna call me after the hearing

or do I have to wait all day?

- I want it after the hearing

because I can't go through the whole day.

- Yes.

What do you need to do before your hearing?

- Breathe.

- Deep breaths, calm down. Right?

- I love you too. Okay.

I have to run upstairs to see what they've got going on.

[children screaming and chattering]

Yay. Hey, beautiful.

See how my days go? - Take it.

- Thank you so much.

Well, hello.

How are you, beautiful? Did you eat breakfast?

[upbeat ringtone playing] My phone.

My phone.

- [child screaming]

- This is a call from... - Pennsylvania State

Correctional Institution Forest.

- This call is subject to recording and monitoring.

To accept charges, press one.

- Yes. What happened?

- It's over. [both laughing]

- You did it.

- So tell me what your final speech was.

[uplifting music]

- All right...

[indistinct chatter] - [laughs]

[crying happily]

- This is crazy, yeah. [both talking indistinctly]

This is crazy.

- [laughs]

- I feel like I'm about to pass out.

- You did it, baby.

[whispering] I love you.

- It's just crazy, Kia.

Damn, this is crazy. - [laughs]

We got to drive. - Yes, we do.

- All right, let's get out of here

before they change their mind.

Look at you. You're actually driving, Kia.

- [laughs and sighs]

Just remember to breathe.

[R&B music playing]

- They ain't got nothing going on up here.

- Hey, hey. - What is that?

How the hell have you got that music on, Kia?

They don't have no stations up here like that.

- Satellite allows you to pick up.

- All right, so you don't put no tape decks in cars no more.

- No, you're going to have a hard time finding a tape deck.

- Oh, so we're rocking like this, huh?

- Mm-hmm.

- Yeah.

[vocalizing softly]

- Hi. - How many today?

- We actually want to take it out.

- Okay, do you know what you want?

- No, we're going to look at the menu.

Thank you.

Let's look at this for-- hey, hey, hey,

let's look at this, for the stuff we have to order.

And then you can come back for that.

So you want meats and stuff, right?

- Oh, wait a minute, Kia. Look.

- That actually looks really good.

- Oh, no, I want this.

- Get whatever you want.

- It's blowing my mind right now, taking it all in.

Just to be free like this, no handcuffs...

Real clothes on.

This is deep. It's people--

people just looking at you, talking to you.

[mumbling] I don't know.

Oh, yeah. I remember these streets.

- You good? - Yeah.

- Just checking out everything. - Yeah.

- Yeah? [chuckles]

- I used to run around around here.

Definitely used to run around.

Old stomping grounds.

Here we go.


[doorbell ringing]

[laughter and indistinct chatter]

- How's my baby?

- I'm all right.

- [laughs] - How are you?

- You're really, really here. - I'm here.

I'm here.

- I made you food in case you want to eat.

- Oh.

- It's so good to see you. You look just like yourself.

- I missed you.

- I missed you so much.

- Twenty-seven years. - I know.

- That's over, there ain't no more mistakes being made.

That's over. - Right, exactly.

- I can't wait to call the police on somebody.



What y'all out there doing?

- Missed you so much. - I missed you so much.

I love you so much. - Oh, I love you too, baby.

- [voice breaking] Thank you for standing by me.

[crying] - I know, I know, I know.

I know. It's over with.

I told you it would be over. I told you.

Okay? You're all right.

You're all right. Relax.

You know what I told you, you're not gonna get upset,

so you won't get sick.

You're home.

You're home, baby. You're home.

- Thank you for everything. - I know.

I love you.

- For everything. - I know.

And I'm still gonna be right here, okay?

- Yeah.

- Ain't I right where you left me?

- Yeah. - Okay?

Told you I would be.

Come here, baby. - [sniffling]

- You gonna be fine.

- Next time on "Philly D.A."

- We want our neighborhood back!

- If folks are not being charged, we cannot survive.

- Not one cop is gonna tell you that he's on our team.

- If you don't have someone there telling the story,

you're gonna lose the narrative.

- The challenge is for me not to be me.

If you're being told by people in law enforcement

that this D.A.'s office will not prosecute,

you're being lied to.


- "Philly D.A." on PBS.

- If you don't have someone there telling the story,

you're gonna lose the narrative.

- Well, you know, there's-- there's two sides to this.

- I'm gonna stand up so you can actually see the merchandise,

as they say.

- Things are unfolding right now.

- The challenge is, for me,

saying the true thing that nobody else will say.



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