Springfield Township Democratic Committee Statement Concerning the Delaware County District Attorney and His Office’s Handling of the Cases Associated with the Death of Fanta Bility

December 16th, 2021

Springfield, PA – The Springfield Democratic Committee seeks to hold elected officials accountable regardless of party affiliation, stands in solidarity with the criminal justice reform movement, and is committed to addressing systemic inequalities in our criminal justice system and improving fairness and justice for all. In 2019, members of the Springfield Democratic Committee worked to elect Jack Stollsteimer as Delaware County District Attorney, with the expectation that he and his administration would be agents of positive change within our criminal justice system.

As a committee, we are very troubled by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office’s handling of the police shooting of 8-year-old Fanta Bility and other members of her family after a football game at Academy Park High School on August 27, 2021. We are specifically troubled by the Office of the Delaware County District Attorney’s decision to charge two Black teenagers, one a minor being charged as an adult, with felony murder related to Fanta’s death, for their role in an alleged shooting that allegedly occurred approximately 140 feet away from where officers began discharging their weapons1 toward a moving vehicle and into a crowd of spectators, which included Fanta2.

We are also deeply troubled by the Delaware County District Attorney’s unequal appearance in his decision to file charges against these two Black teenagers, disclosing their identities, while at the same time, deciding to call a grand jury to consider potential charges against the officers and delaying the disclosing of their names to the public, and Fanta’s family.

As the Springfield Democratic Committee, we call for the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office to pursue true justice and accountability in this case by immediately recusing himself from the case and transfer it to the Office of the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, and for the OAG to reconsider all charges in this case, including providing the two Black teenagers with a grand jury, to release the names of officers who discharged their weapons as soon as possible, and hold the officers and their department accountable for their actions.

Finally, the Springfield Democratic Committee calls on DA Jack Stollsteimer to recommit his office to serving the interests of the entire Delaware County community, and ensure his office not be used to place the narrow interests of Delaware County police officers and the Fraternal Order of Police above the needs of the public.

1 https://delcoda.com/press-release/district-attorney-stollsteimer-announces-arrest-in-connection-with-the-august-27-2021-death-of-fanta-bility/

2 https://www.inquirer.com/news/fanta-bility-police-firing-sharon-hill-20211007.html

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