Three Dead in Bustleton Car Crash

Sandmeyer Lane near Red Lion Road, the reported area of the crash. Photo | Google Street View

Sandmeyer Lane near Red Lion Road, the reported area of the crash. Photo | Google Street View

Three young people were killed in a one-car accident overnight in the Bustleton section of Philadelphia.

Two female passengers — a 16-year-old and and a female of unknown age — and a 20-year-old man were reported dead on scene, according to a Philadelphia Police press release on the incident. Read more »

Man Trapped by Freight Train Has Leg Amputated in Rescue

Early this morning, a man was rescued from under a freight train in the Bustleton section of Philadelphia.

The Associated Press reports that emergency medical crews rescued a 46-year-old man by amputating one of his legs after he was pinned between a freight train and tracks around 2:45 a.m. The AP says authorities told them a crew from Einstein Medical Center worked for two hours to help free the man. Read more »

Former Pennsylvania Hospital Nurse Says Cops Falsely Narced on Her

Nurse via Shutterstock.com

Left: Nurse via Shutterstock.com; Right: An excerpt from Kyle Welch’s lawsuit.

A former nurse anaesthetist at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia and two police officers, claiming that the cops defamed her by making an anonymous call to the hospital to falsely report that she was using drugs. Read more »

Jasmyne Cannick Talks About That Philly Police Beating Video

blogger police video

On Wednesday, Jasmyne Cannick — a noted Los Angeles civil rights activist and media professional — posted a just-released video on her blog of Philly police officers allegedly beating a young African-American man after stopping him for biking the wrong way on a one-way street.

Two-dozen police officers in 11 cars eventually showed up to the scene, beating and using a Taser on the man, a 22-year-old named Tyree Carroll, who could be heard screaming for his grandmother. Carroll is currently in jail without bail on several charges, including drug and assault allegations. (Philly Police released their own account of the incident this afternoon. See below.)

Philly Mag talked to Cannick today to get her take on the video, what happened, why it matters and what her role was in getting the word out. Read more »

WATCH: Philly Police Beat Suspect in Arrest

Philly Police have begun an internal investigation into a YouTube video that shows officers beating a suspect during an April arrest.

The video was released Wednesday by Los Angeles blogger Jasmyne Cannick and quickly drew national attention. It depicts the April 3 arrest of 22-year-old Tyree Carroll, who reportedly was charged with drug and assault offenses stemming from the incident. Read more »

The Brief: We’ll Soon Know the Names of All Cops Who Shoot Civilians

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke

1. The police department is going to start releasing the names of officers who fire at civilians.

The gistCity Paper reports that Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced in a memo yesterday that “the department will immediately begin disclosing the names of officers who discharge their firearms in Officer-Involved Shootings ‘within seventy-two (72) hours of the incident.'” According to the memo, this was one of the recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Justice in its scathing report on police shootings in Philadelphia. Also, the department will examine each case to ensure that “no threats are made toward the officer or members of their family prior to the release of this information.” Read more »

The Brief: Police Shootings Plummet 62% in Philadelphia

A Philadelphia Police Department promotion ceremony. | Copyright City of Philadelphia. Photo by Mitchell Leff.

A Philadelphia Police Department promotion ceremony. | Copyright City of Philadelphia. Photo by Mitchell Leff.

1. Police shootings fell 62 percent between 2012 and 2014.

The gist: 2012 marked a modern high for police shootings: City cops fired at civilians 104 times that year, killing 16 and injuring 32. Last year, the number of shootings dropped significantly. Philly.com reports that police fired at civilians 40 times in 2014, killing four and injuring 21; so far this year, they killed one person and wounded seven. “This is exactly what we want to see,” Kelvyn Anderson, the director of the watchdog group Police Advisory Commission, told Philly.com. “Whatever the department is doing, this is exactly where we want it to go.”
Read more »

Police Reform Can’t Happen Behind Closed Doors

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Here’s what we know:

Sometime today, members of the Police Community Oversight Board — the 24-member panel appointed by Mayor Nutter to oversee police reform efforts over the next two years — will gather via conference call.

We don’t know when the call will be. We don’t know how to join the call to listen in, if we want. We don’t know precisely what members will be talking about. If there’s someplace that this information has been publicized, I’m not aware of it. In fact, it’s a bit of luck that we even know the call is happening at all.

Which means the “public oversight” part of police reform, it seems, is getting off to a slow and opaque start. And that seems like a bad omen for a process that is supposed to result, at least in part, in a much more transparent police department.

Read more »

Hero Cop Stops Rising Sun Pizza Robbery In Northeast Philly

Rising Sun Pizza via Google Maps

Rising Sun Pizza via Google Maps

A Philadelphia Police detective stopped a robbery Thursday night at a popular pizza joint in Northeast Philly, getting in a shootout with a gunman who, it turned out, was literally firing blanks. That suspect died, but another is still being sought.

Late on Thursday night, around 11:30 p.m., an off-duty Philadelphia Police detective dressed in regular street clothes stopped by Rising Sun Pizza at 6919 Rising Sun Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia to pick up some dinner. Read more »

The Brief: Why Are Minorities Shunning Careers as Cops in Philly?

A Philadelphia Police Department promotion ceremony. | Copyright City of Philadelphia. Photo by Mitchell Leff.

A Philadelphia Police Department promotion ceremony. | Copyright City of Philadelphia. Photo by Mitchell Leff.

1. Why does the Philadelphia Police Department have so few minority recruits?

The gist: Citified and other outlets have reported before on the race gap in the Philadelphia police department. Compared to the demographic makeup of the city itself, white cops are over-represented, and black, Latino and Asian cops are underrepresented. But why? Mensah Dean takes a stab at answering that question in a Daily News cover story today that focuses on the department’s recruiting practices. Dean zooms in on hiring requirements that include a polygraph test, a minimum of 60 hours of college credit and psychological exams. The report suggests those requirements — which were put into place by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey — are creating unnecessary hurdles, particularly for would-be minority recruits.

Why it matters: Ramsey co-chaired President Obama’s task force on 21st Century Policing, and one of its key recommendations was for police departments to diversify their workforces. The Daily News report suggests Ramsey could start at home. Read more »

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