Is There a Middle Way on Cop Anonymity?

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Let me confess to a failing: When John McNesby speaks, I almost always decide to take the opposite position. It’s a knee-jerk instinct, and it’s probably not one of my better characteristics. My reasoning? If you can find a dirty cop in Philadelphia, McNesby — president of Philly’s police union — is probably nearby, defending that cop and blaming the media. Yes, it’s his job, but his shtick sure seems old and counterproductive in an era that is (rightly) demanding more accountability and transparency from police.

Most of the time, I think he’s bad for Philadelphia.

So when McNesby came out Wednesday in favor of a bill that would require police departments to withhold the names of cops involved in shooting incidents — the Philly Police policy is to name names within 72 hours — I was inclined to dismiss him outright, for three big reasons: Read more »

Black Lives Matter Activists Drown Out Charles Ramsey

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. AP | Matt Rourke

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey | Photo by AP/Matt Rourke

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey was speaking at an event at the Eastern State Penitentiary on Tuesday night, when Black Lives Matter activists disrupted him, making it impossible for him to continue.

“Black Lives Matter!” they shouted. “No racist police!”

Organizers told KYW that they were protesting over the death of Brandon Tate-Brown, who was shot by police during a traffic stop in December. Read more »

FBI, Police Seek Bank Robbery Suspect

Robbery-Citizens-Bank-2540-South-24th-St-DC-15-01-035935

The man in the picture above is being sought for a Wednesday afternoon robbery at a Citizens Bank branch in South Philadelphia.

Police say the robbery took place at 1:04 p.m. Wednesday at the bank branch located at 2540 South 24th Street. He handed a note to a teller, received an undisclosed amount of cash, and fled. Read more »

Off-Duty Police Sergeant Dies in One-Vehicle Accident

Sergeant-Rafael-Ali-940x540

An off-duty Philadelphia Police sergeant died after a single-vehicle wreck late Saturday night.

Police say Rafael Ali, 32, was driving southbound on the 6000 block of Henry Avenue when his truck mounted the center median and struck a large tree. Emergency crews extricated him from the wreck. Ali was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:20 a.m. Sunday. Read more »

Suspect Sought in Old City TD Bank Robbery

Photo | Philadelphia Police Department

Photo | Philadelphia Police Department

Philadelphia Police and the FBI are seeking a man who allegedly robbed the TD Bank branch on the 300 block of Market Street in Old City.

Around 1:40 pm Thursday, the man — 6 feet tall, black, wearing a grey sweatshirt and white True Religion baseball cap, and sporting a mustache and goatee — handed the TD teller a demand note and then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police. The “Wanted” poster can be seen here. Read more »

WATCH: Suspects Sought in North Philly Carjacking, Robbery

Two suspects are wanted by the East Detective Division for a robbery and carjacking that occurred in the Hartranft section of North Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Police report that on August 13th, two black male suspects stopped a man around 11:20 am as he arrived at his business in the 2800 block of North 9th Street. Police say the 29-year-old man was approached in his 2005 Acura TL by the suspects, one of whom was carrying a handgun. Read more »

Craigslist Landlord Arrested on Fraud Charges

Harry Moore in a photo provided by the Philadelphia Police Department.

Harry Moore in a photo provided by the Philadelphia Police Department.

Harry Moore, the man who allegedly scammed potential renters out of thousands of dollars, has been arrested.

Philadelphia Police report that on Wednesday, Moore turned himself in to Northwest Division detectives after he saw a report about the accusations against him on the television news. He faces 15 counts of fraud and related offenses. Read more »

#BlackLivesMatter Protesters Block Prosecutor’s Office

Tanya Dickerson, center, is flanked by Asa Khalif, left, and Brian Mildenberg, right, during a press conference in March. Dickerson's son, Brandon Tate-Brown, was shot to death by police in December; DA Seth Williams announced earier in the day no charges would be filed in the death.

Tanya Dickerson, center, is flanked by Asa Khalif, left, and Brian Mildenberg, right, during a press conference in March.

Activists seeking the re-opening of the Brandon Tate-Brown case protested at District Attorney Seth Williams‘ office today, briefly shutting down the street outside and blocking the door while they made their case. Protesters included Tate-Brown’s mother, Tanya Brown-Dickerson, and cousin, Asa Khalif.

Read more »

Acquitted Narcotics Officer Failed Drug Test, Will Be Fired Again

Perry Betts | Philadelphia Police Department

Perry Betts | Philadelphia Police Department

Philadelphia Police narcotics officer Perry Betts is in hot water again.

Just back in May, Betts was one of six narcotics unit officers acquitted by a federal jury on corruption charges and, in July, set to be reinstated into his job. Now, before Betts could even officially rejoin the force, he will again be fired after failing a mandatory drug test with marijuana in his system, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Thursday.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told the Daily News that when Betts returns to the office on Monday, he will be suspended for 30 days with the intent to be dismissed. “He will not be able to return,” Ramsey told Daily News. “I’m told he went on vacation and will be back Monday. He will be served on Monday.” Read more »

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 »

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