PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - It's a battle of words between Philadelphia's new top prosecutor and the city's police union.
New Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner met with police cadets earlier this week at the invitation of the Guardian Civic League, an organization of black police officers.
Krasner speaks largely in support of police at that event, but his comments Tuesday about center-mass shooting touched off a storm.
"We see police officers whose behavior is 100-percent heroic, dutiful, amazing. And we see police officers who have a bad result," Krasner tells police cadets on the video clip his office posted to YouTube on Friday.
For much of the 10-minute-long video, Krasner tells the cadets he's got their backs if they follow their oath and make honest mistakes.
"And so if you have come here with the notion that the District Attorney's Office is out there to screw you if you make an honest mistake, they're not," Krasner says.
But in describing a scenario in which a mentally-challenged man was killed by police – who were justified in the shooting, says Krasner – he also adds this: "Maybe there are issues about whether every shot has to be center-mass, maybe there are some issues there. But that does not mean the officers did anything wrong."
Center-mass is how police are trained to shoot – firing at the middle or bulk of the body.
The comment prompted the head of the police officers' union, John McNesby – who did not attend the event and has not seen the video – to aggressively criticize the D.A. in a letter Thursday, writing Krasner has "intentionally sought to endanger your lives by his outrageous effort to 'instruct' you on the use of your firearm."
In an interview after the release of the letter Thursday, McNesby appears to soften his tone.
"For them to hear two separate messages is not good, especially when they're leaving … to go out and protect the community," the Fraternal Order of Police president said.
Friday, after releasing the video of Krasner's talk, the D.A.'s spokesperson said much of McNesby's letter is false.
"'Don't do what you were told to do in the Academy, do what I tell you?' Watch the video, it's not what happened. It's not even remotely close to what happened," Krasner spokesman Ben Waxman said.
A spokesman for union leader McNesby says he stands by his words. He didn't know if McNesby has seen the video.
Krasner's office says the FOP president should retract what he wrote.
The D.A.'s office says it posted all the video it had.
FOX 29 does not know what happened before or after the recording.
A police department spokesperson says Police Commissioner Richard Ross and Krasner have spoken, and they are moving on.