Are Philly Police Tracking Your Car’s Whereabouts?

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Philly Police are among several local agencies using technology to photograph and record millions of license plate numbers — and, over time, to track the movements of a vehicle and its driver.

Civil libertarians say the technology raises privacy concerns, NBC 10 reports, but police say it helps them solve crimes.

Since the beginning of 2014, Philly Police say they’ve recorded nearly 30 million license plates. That information led to the recovery of 521 stolen cars and the arrest of six suspects. Philly Police retain the license plate info for a year, then purge, saving only if the plate is associated with criinal activity. Read more »

Former Narcotics Cops Sue Mayor Nutter, Commissioner Ramsey and D.A. Williams

ramsey nutter williams

A group of Philadelphia Police officers accused — and acquitted — of shaking down drug dealers is now suing Mayor Nutter, Commissioner Charles Ramsey and D.A. Seth Williams for defamation.

Perry Betts, Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, John Speiser and Michael Spicer were all exonerated of federal corruption charges earlier this year. (A sixth exonerated defendant in the case, Linwood Norman, is not party to the suit.) They’re joined by their former supervisor, Robert G. Otto.  The suit was reported Monday afternoon by BigTrial.net.

The lawsuit had originally been filed in a state court, then transferred to federal jurisdiction. An amended complaint (see below) was filed late last week. The suit stems from a 2012 letter from Williams to Ramsey, saying he wouldn’t accept drug cases — or warrants for affidavits — that required the testimony of those officers.

“There was no legitimate or reasonable or colorable basis whatsoever for D.A. Williams’ letter; to the contrary, the letter was written in bad faith and recklessly,” attorney Christopher Mannix wrote for the officers. Read more »

Police Respond to Viral Video of Officer Punching Suspect

On Thursday, Mediatakeout.com posted this video to its website and Facebook page:

DISTURBING VIDEO: Philly Police Officers PUNCH A Handcuffed Man TWICE In The Face . . . While Calling Him a P*SSY!! (They Don’t Even CARE . . . That They Are Being VIDEO’D)

Posted by Mediatakeout on Thursday, July 23, 2015

It appears to show a Philly police officer punching a cuffed suspect in the face while shouting a sexist slur at the man, then taunting the person taking the video. The video went viral — as of Friday morning, it had been shared 68,000 times from the Facebook page.

Only one problem? It’s old. A copy of the video was published on YouTube in 2010 — five years ago. Still, the quick spread of the video compelled Philly police to respond on Thursday evening: Read more »

(UPDATE) Man Wanted for Killing Pregnant Woman Dies in Shootout With Police

wanted-killing-pregnant-woman-philadelphia

[Update 1 pm] Reports say the suspect who died in today’s shootout with a SWAT team was Devon Guisherd, seen above, wanted since September on allegations he killed a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

“Police sources tell Action News that officers were serving an arrest warrant on a suspect, identified by sources as 26-year-old Devon Guisherd, for the death of 25-year-old Megan Doto last September,” 6ABC reports.

“Devon Guisherd, 27, had been on the run for nearly a year since police identified him as the suspect wanted in the shooting of 25-year-old Megan Doto,” NBC Philadelphia adds. “Doto, who was due to give birth exactly a month after she was shot, was sitting outside her house on Adams Avenue near Griscom Street about noon on Sunday, Sept. 14 when gunfire erupted up Griscom Street from where she sat.”

Investigators had said that Doto, 26, was not the intended victim of the shooting that took her life when she was eight months pregnant. After the shooting, her child was delivered by C-section, but the child then died overnight.

Guisherd was waiting trial on drug charges a the time of Soto’s shooting; he was free then on $100,000.

The officer injured in the shootout, when a bullet hit is protective vest, has been released from the hospital.

[Original]

At approximately 6:10 this morning, a Philadelphia Police Officer was shot in the line of duty while attempting to serve…

Posted by Philadelphia Police Department on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Philadelphia Police officer is recovering after a shootout in Northeast Philadelphia Wednesday morning. The suspect was shot and killed by police, according to reports.

NBC 10 reports the shooting happened around 6 a.m. in the 800 block of Riverside Drive:

“According to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, members of the SWAT Team and homicide division went to a second floor apartment to serve a murder warrant,” the station reports. “When officers entered the residence, Ramsey said the suspect grabbed what turned out to be a weapon and began to run. At some point, the suspect spun around and opened fire, striking a SWAT Team officer in the bulletproof vest near his stomach.”

The Police Department reports that the officer was serving a warrant for a person wanted for a September 2014 homicide that claimed the life of a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

Read more »

Police Investigate Death of Drexel Grad

Jasmine Wright | Facebook

Jasmine Wright | Facebook

Police say a recent Drexel grad was beaten and possibly strangled to death in her West Philadelphia apartment.

Jasmine Wright, 27, was found dead Thursday afternoon at her apartment by the building’s property manager. She was a recent graduate of Drexel University’s School of Public Health. Read more »

Here’s the Arbitrator’s Decision That Restored Narcotics Cops to Duty

philadelphia-narcotics-cops-corrected-940x540

The six Narcotics Unit cops restored to duty after being found not guilty of federal corruption charges will get $90,000 in back pay and all references to their firing expunged from their personnel records, according to the record of the arbitrator’s decision in their case.

Philly Mag obtained a redacted version (below) of the July 10th decision by arbitrator Ralph H. Colflesh under a “right to know” request with the city. City officials said the redactions included payroll information, as well as the record of the arbitrator’s opinion, which is exempt from disclosure under state law. The arbitrator’s final award, however, is subject to open-records rules.

“There was no just cause under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement to discharge” the officers, Colflesh wrote.

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 »

Police: Officer Tried to Implicate Wife in His Own Shooting

police pennSomebody shot Officer Robert Penn back in March. Police still aren’t sure who pulled the trigger. But, they say, that didn’t stop Penn from falsely trying to implicate his wife in the crime.

And that’s why Penn, a 25-year member of the Philadelphia Police Department, was himself arrested Tuesday — along with Charles Mays, his former brother-in-law — and suspended from duty with the intent that he’ll be dismissed outright. Read more »

Police Union Challenges Federal Reforms

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.

The union that represents Philadelphia Police has filed unfair labor practice charges against the city for implementing reforms recommended by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The complaint by the Fraternal Order of Police was posted without comment this morning to the Police Advisory Commission’s Facebook page. (See the document below.) Read more »

Delivery Man Beaten, Robbed of Food Order

A group of six men on June 19th tracked down a Dominos delivery man walking in the Washington Square West section, beat him to the ground, and stole the pizza order, as reported on the Philadelphia Police blog. The 30-year-old delivery guy was followed from the 500 block of Eighth Street to the 800 block of Lombard Street, where he was knocked to the ground, beaten and robbed of the order at 8:35 pm that evening. He came away from the incident with minor cuts on his elbow.

Read more »

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