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DA Krasner Announces Prosecution of Officer for Assault of Woman During 2020 Racial Injustice Protest

PHILADELPHIA (April 21, 2022) – District Attorney Larry Krasner announced the arrest of former Philadelphia Police officer Darren Kardos (DOB: 7/25/1979) for his role in the violent assault of a woman who with her toddler and teenage nephew were pulled from their car at the scene of protests in West Philadelphia following the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr., in 2020.

At approximately 1:00 a.m. on October 27, 2020, amid civil unrest following the fatal shooting of Wallace days earlier, the victim took her 2-year-old son and drove in an SUV to pick up a nephew at 57th and Vine streets at his request. While driving eastbound on Chestnut Street with her nephew and son in the vehicle, and ahead of the intersection of protester and police activity at the intersection of 52nd and Chestnut streets, the victim was directed by a Philadelphia Police officer to back up and make a U-turn.

As the victim was attempting to comply with the officer’s order to make the U-turn, several officers ran toward the victim’s vehicle, hitting and rocking the vehicle, and attempting to pull open the door. The victim was driving slowly, at less than 15 MPH, when then-Officer Kardos is alleged to have approached the SUV and begun breaking the windows with his ASP (or baton). Following a PPD Internal Affairs and District Attorney’s Office (DAO) Special Investigations Unit investigation, Kardos is also accused of pulling the victim out of her vehicle by her hair, after which she was struck by fists, batons and a number of unknown objects, and maced.

The victim was arrested by police and separated from her toddler, who was later photographed for a false and misleading social media post by the National Fraternal Order of Police. The victim was never charged and the post was later deleted.

In his official statement following the incident, Kardos made claims about the victim’s actions that were not corroborated by video evidence. He has been charged by the DAO with Aggravated Assault (F2), Simple Assault (M2), Possession of an Instrument of Crime (M1), Reckless Endangerment of Another Person (M2), and Criminal Mischief (M3).

DA Krasner said, “I want to thank PPD Internal Affairs and my office’s Special Investigations Unit for their thorough investigation of this assault, which marks an important moment in our city’s ongoing efforts to center justice in our service to the public. This was a complex investigation that involved video and other evidence obtained from body-worn camera from multiple officers as well as cell phone video recorded by civilians. As my office moves forward with vigorous prosecution of former Philadelphia Police officer Darren Kardos, we and our partners in law enforcement and city government must never stop working to achieve the systemic justice that will deliver peace to communities that have been starved of it for generations.”

The next listing for Commonwealth v. Darren Kardos is scheduled for April 29, 2022, in courtroom 906 of the Criminal Justice Center.

CONTACT:  Jane Roh, 215-686-8711, [email protected]

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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 residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually. Learn more about the DAO by visiting PhillyDA.org.