During his first mayoral campaign in 2005, John Fetterman reportedly utilized the slogan “Vote John Mayor of Braddocc,” a play on the name of the town used by local Crips gang members.
Following his election, Fetterman then launched the website Braddocc.com as part of a regeneration effort aimed at attracting young people to the decrepit steel town.
According to the now-defunct website, which Fetterman funded himself, “Braddocc” was “unofficially dubbed” by the “young and disenfranchised for its Crip affiliation.”
The Crips, who were created in southern California in the 1970s, are regarded by the Justice Department as one of the country’s most vicious and dangerous street gangs, responsible for an innumerable number of murders, rapes, robberies and other crimes.
Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s current lieutenant governor, has faced mounting criticism for his far-left, progressive views on criminal justice reform during his ongoing Senate campaign.
Republicans have accused Fetterman of being a pro-crime because his proposal to release up to one-third of Pennsylvania’s currently jailed criminals. Fetterman, as chairman of Pennsylvania’s Board of Pardons, also provided the lone vote advocating for the freeing of many prisoners convicted of first-degree murder.
“Ultimately I carry their flag, because they’re the ones that made the difference that I won by one vote that first election” Fetterman said while trying to explain away his connections to the notorious gang “It’s not a glorification of gang violence, or embracing gang violence.”
While Fetterman embraced Crips jargon, following his election victory, he minimized the gang’s existence in Braddock. In 2006, he claimed that gang graffiti on borough buildings was the result of “a disenfranchised young person who is disaffected and has few options.”
Fetterman’s claims run contrary to a video from the mid 2000’s which shows that the violent gang was quite active in Braddock during the Democrat mayor’s tenure.
When asked whether Fetterman had any connection to the Crips street gang, his campaign responded: “The notion that John Fetterman has any affinity for the crips is complete and utter bul*****”
Fetterman is currently running in a close race with his Republican rival for Pennsylvania’s soon to be vacant Senate seat.