Fallen Philly Cop Robert Wilson Honored with Medal of Valor

President Barack Obama presents Constance Wilson, grandmother of fallen Philadelphia Police Department Sgt, Robert Wilson III with his Medal of Valor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 16, 2016. Photo | Carolyn Kaster, AP

President Barack Obama presents Constance Wilson, grandmother of fallen Philadelphia Police Department Sgt, Robert Wilson III with his Medal of Valor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 16, 2016. Photo | Carolyn Kaster, AP

The White House ceremony was nice, but oh, how Sgt. Robert Wilson‘s family wishes they hadn’t needed to be there for it.

President Barack Obama bestowed Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor awards today on 13 police officers for having displayed selfless bravery in the face of danger. Wilson was the first member of the Philadelphia Police Department to be tapped for the honor; he was the only honoree to receive the award posthumously.

Wilson, 30, was killed in a gun battle with two armed robbers that erupted inside a North Philly GameStop on March 5, 2015. Wilson had stopped at the store, Obama noted, to buy a present for his then-8-year-old son, who had done well at school. Brothers Ramon Williams and Carlton Hipps were charged with Wilson’s murder, but have yet to go to trial.

Read more »

3 Men Wanted for Assaulting School Police Officers

Suspects in police assault

Still images of suspects from Philadelphia Police Department

Three men attacked teens leaving Northeast High School — then turned their attack on school police officers who intervened, according to Philadelphia Police.

The assaults happened on Monday at 3:30 as school was dismissing. Police say two school police officers were escorting students out of the school — a normal activity — when they saw two adults attacking a Northeast student. The cops ran over and stopped the fight.

That’s when an argument happened between the two adults and the school police officers. Police say the two men began pushing and shoving the officers, eventually throwing one of the school cops to the ground and punching the other in the face. A third man then joined the fray; according to police, “all three began to pummel the officers.” Read more »

Flyers, Philly Fans Embarrass Selves in Playoff Loss

Members of the Philadelphia Flyers Ice Crew pick up wristbands that were thrown onto the ice during the third period against the Washington Capitals in game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.

Members of the Philadelphia Flyers Ice Crew pick up wristbands that were thrown onto the ice during the third period against the Washington Capitals in game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.

The Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues once played a game on January 6th of 1972. The Flyers, an expansion squad in its fifth season, were two years away from the first of the franchise’s only two Stanley Cups. It was Fred Shero‘s first year as coach. The Flyers were ahead, 2-0, after two periods, when a riot broke out.

Blues coach Al Arbour — the third employed by St. Louis that season — chased after the ref toward the dressing room. He was complaining about the way the puck was dropped on a face-off earlier in the game. As he berated the ref in the exit runway, a fan reached over and poured a beer over Albour’s head. (Stadium beer was cheaper in those days.)

The incident is recalled in fantastic detail in Glen Macnow and Anthony L. Gargano’s The Great Philadelphia Fan Book. The authors even got Ed Snider to comment on the incident.

“Fans started cursing the Blues and throwing things,” he said. “Then Arbour reached over into the seats and some cop hit him over the head with a billy club. Well, that was it. It became instant mayhem.”

The Blues players rushed to the tunnel entrance, defending their coach. Led by Bob Plager, Blues players rushed into the stands and began fighting fans. One-hundred fifty police officers had to be called in to quell the mayhem. Blues defenseman John Arbour, no relation to the coach, needed 40 stitches. Three Blues players, and coach Arbour, were arrested.

“That was the worst case of police brutality I’ve ever seen or heard about,” Blues owner Sidney Salomon told the Daily News. “It was worse than the riot in Chicago at the convention.” Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo was his usual self: “This community will not tolerate hooliganism. We probably didn’t need our police officers in that situation. I believe our residents could have taken care of the matter on their own.”

Snider bailed the Blues players out of jail. As he told the authors of the book, he was angrier at the way his team reacted than with the fans. The Flyers gave up three goals in the third period and lost to the Blues, 3-2. “I was angry,” Snider said. “Not about the fight, so much as the game. Blowing a two-goal lead made me sick.” The embarrassing fight and loss were on Snider’s 39th birthday. Read more »

Police: 14-Year-Old Was Shot in West Philly Last Night

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

A 14-year-old boy was shot in the back in West Philadelphia on Tuesday night, just a day after City Council members vowed to make reducing youth gun violence the city’s top priority.

Two friends found the bloodied teen on the ground on 60th Street near Vine about 9:25 p.m.

The victim, who lives in Yeadon, Delaware County, was admitted to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in critical condition. The shooting might have left him paralyzed, a law enforcement source said. Read more »

Springtime for Philly: 6 Murders in 8 Hours

Police Commissioner Richard Ross speaks during a news conference Friday, January 8, 2016, in Philadelphia.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross speaks during a news conference Friday, January 8, 2016, in Philadelphia.

Like clockwork, Philadelphia’s first taste of springlike weather is usually accompanied by a sudden rise in staccato bursts of gunfire and the shrill cries of ambulance sirens echoing across some of its streets.

Yesterday proved to be a textbook example, as the temperature pushed into the 70s, and the city recorded six murders in eight hours.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross is no stranger to sudden homicide spikes like this one.  He’s reluctant to blame the weather — “Somebody still has to pull out a gun,” he told Philly Mag this morning — but he’s seen plenty of overlap during his 26 years on the police force.

The same question always follows similar outbursts of chaos: What can be done to stop the bloodshed? Read more »

Kenney Wants to Equip Cops With 800 Body Cameras

Kenney Body Camera

Photos by Dan McQuade and Jeff Fusco

Mayor Jim Kenney will seek funding for 800 body cameras for the Philadelphia Police Department in his proposed budget.

He made the announcement Wednesday morning during an interview on 900-AM WURD.

“This is an important step forward in Philadelphia’s police-community relations,” Kenney said. “Across the country, body-worn cameras have been extremely successful in reducing instances of use of force as well as police abuse allegations, especially those that are unfounded.” Read more »

Detective: Philly Police Retaliated Against Me for Whistleblowing

Philadelphia Police Headquarters, aka "The Roundhouse." | Beyond My Ken | Wikimedia Commons

Philadelphia Police Headquarters, aka “The Roundhouse.” | Beyond My Ken | Wikimedia Commons

The city has settled a lawsuit with a Philadelphia Police detective who claims his superiors retaliated against him for blowing the whistle on civil rights violations within the department.

Detective Matthew Maurizio filed the suit in spring 2014, claiming he had been punished because he told his superiors about the practice of “icing” — holding arrestees in jail without the probable cause or charges required to do so, in violation of their rights.

The practice is used to shake loose information from the arrestees, Maurizio said in his suit. (See the complaint below.)

“Icing is to induce the held person to speak, to make the person provide a statement about matters the police are criminally investigating, to coerce the held person to speak when the person did not wish to speak to police or would not fully speak with police,” Maurizio’s lawyer, Brian Puricelli, wrote in the lawsuit.

The department, in a written statement to Philly Mag, denied the icing allegations. Read more »

« Older Posts