There were more fatal police shootings per capita in Philadelphia than in any big city but Phoenix between 2010 and 2014, a new study by the Better Government Association has found.
Philadelphia registered 3.48 lethal incidents per 100,000 residents over that period. Of the 10 most populous cities in the nation, only Phoenix tallied more, with 3.77. Rounding out the top five was Dallas (2.70), Chicago (2.57) and Houston (2.23).
The report found there were 54 fatal police shootings in Philadelphia during the five-year time period in which the case was studied. Only the Phoenix (57) and Chicago (70) police departments fatally shot more people during the same time span. Remarkably, New York’s Police Department — which serves a population 5.4 times the size of Philly’s — recorded fewer overall fatal shootings (41) than the PPD.
As alarming as those numbers are, there’s some important context to remember: police shootings in Philadelphia dropped a whopping 62 percent between 2012 and 2014, and they’ve fallen further still in 2015. That might sounds like it contradicts the study’s results, but it actually just serves to highlight how common police shootings were in the city during the earlier years of the study. Read more »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 gist: City Paperreports 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 »
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 »
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.
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 »