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Michael White didn’t deny killing Sean Schellenger. He admitted to police and at his trial that he plunged a knife several times into Schellenger’s back during a July 2018 scuffle in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. Numerous witnesses and a cellphone video confirmed what happened. Yet in October 2019 a jury acquitted Mr. White, a 22-year-old college student, of voluntary manslaughter. Many, including the victim’s family, blame Larry Krasner, Philadelphia’s soft-on-crime district attorney.

Stefano, Jennifer. “Philadelphia’s Top Prosecutor Pursues ‘Social,’ Not Actual, Justice
Larry Krasner said he wouldn’t prosecute certain offenses and the bad guys got the message.” Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2020

Who is op-ed writer Jennifer Stefano?

Jennifer Stefano is Vice President of the Commonwealth Foundation, a non-profit free-market think tank. Before joining the Commonwealth Foundation, Jennifer served in numerous leadership roles at Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Prosperity Foundation. The Emmy-nominated former TV reporter and anchor has spent the last decade advocating for public policies that maximize human flourishing and individual freedom.


Commonwealth Foundation?

It’s complicated.


In good Orwellian fashion, most of America’s WSJ op-ed readers may be expected to grouse through Jennifer Stefano’s truncated portrayal of Michael White’s actions in the death of Sean Schellinger, nod their heads with the template set in the background — young black man (from the ‘hood, right?) kills (hard working) white one (honorably selling real estate) — and move on steaming right along with the coffee on all that’s wrong with America.

Well, BackChannels, having encountered the op-ed via Facebook this morning, chose to have another look at the depiction of the case that Jennifer Stefano used to damn “social justice” (Left / Far Left!) prosecutor Larry Krasner.


Authorities say White fatally stabbed 37-year-old Sean Schellenger after a brief but quickly escalating argument at the scene of a minor traffic dispute in Center City. The defense claimed and cell phone
video seemed to support that Schellenger was first to attack the knife-wielding White.

Gordon, Bruce. “Michael White found not guilty in Rittenhouse Square stabbing death of Sean Schellenger.” Fox 29 Philadelphia, October 17, 2019.

Schellenger’s family accused the DA’s office of victim blaming, a complaint that resurfaced throughout the trial from prosecutors themselves. Assistant District Attorney Sherrell Dandy said White’s defense team emphasized the victim’s behavior more than his death. Schellenger’s cocaine use, heavy drinking and even past fights were introduced as evidence against the one person who could not defend himself in court, Dandy said during closing statements.

But White’s supporters argued that he feared for his life after Schellenger threatened to “beat the black off him.”

“Michael White Given Probation on Tampering Charge.” NBC Philadelphia, January 9-10, 2020.

More than most cases, White’s trial seemed to touch on issues that have long affected the city, such as money, race, and opportunity.

White, a black man who had performed slam poetry and was working as a food courier on the night of the confrontation, testified that Schellenger — the white owner of a real estate company — said, “I’ll beat the black off you” before charging at him and trying to tackle him, causing him to fear for his safety.

Palmer, Chris. “Jury finds Michael White not guilty in stabbing death of Sean Schellenger near Rittenhouse Square.” The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 17, 2019 (updated).

After news of the Rittenhouse Square murder and White’s role in it broke, supporters of White took to social media to claim that he was acting in self-defense and to claim he is the “true victim.” White is an engineering student at Morgan University in Baltimore who grew up in Philadelphia and is interested in poetry, according to a Gofundme page he started to fundraise tuition money. He had no reported past arrests.

Schellenger has a criminal history including arrests in Chester County and Florida, including a 2008 arrest in Florida for disorderly conduct, battery and trespassing although charges were later dropped. He was found guilty of disorderly conduct in 2009 in Chester County, and previously charged in Chester County in August 2001 with burglary, resisting arrest, criminal trespassing, and theft, although the verdict in that case was unknown, the Inquirer reported.

Newhouse, Sam. “Conflicting stories emerge after Rittenhouse Square murder
Family and friends of Michael J. White say the Rittenhouse Square murder of Sean Schellenger was in self-defense.” Metro, July 16, 2018

You decide?


The jury decided.

The violation of journalism’s golden standard for reporting, “Clear, Accurate, Complete” produced the opportunity for this Bad Bloggie in the Windows. In her op-ed, Jennifer Stefano framed the case for a national audience by leaving out . . . the case. Again, Michael White was black and he done it, totally admitted it, and this soft Officer Krupke Lefty of a prosecutor Krasner made it easy for him to slip away with his crime.

For all anyone but WSJ might know, the Conservative Nodding Head Chorus may have bought it.

Next item, please, and another croissant.

Ah, but the American Press is free, vigorous, and decidedly not fake!


Assailant gets out of his car. Black guy’s got a bicycle and a knife (c’mon, it’s Philly), and what he hears from the white guy about to charge him: “I’ll beat the black of you.”

Related Online

“Pennsylvania Self Defense Laws.” FindLaw.