The Philadelphia Police Department is on the lookout for two, possibly more, individuals who robbed one person and attempted to rob another while impersonating Philadelphia Police officers in South Philadelphia in the early morning hours on Sunday.
In the first incident, a 23-year-old woman was walking home at 4:30 a.m. when a man and a woman in a silver Nissan pulled up to her near Fourth and Jackson streets. Both persons got out of the car, and the man flashed a badge and said he was a police officer. The man then told the complainant to come to him and that she would be arrested if she resisted. The woman ran away instead, and the “police” car headed north on 5th Street while the woman who was stopped called police to report a disturbance. Read more »
Laquan McDonald, seconds before he was shot.
If you’re a Pennsylvanian who is angry about what happened in Chicago with Laquan McDonald, you should be furious with what legislators in Harrisburg are trying to do.
McDonald, if you’re unaware, was a 17-year-old black teen who was shot to death during an encounter with police a year ago. Police said that McDonald, armed with a knife, lunged at them. A video released last week shows that actually, McDonald was stepping away from police at the time he was shot. The video shows bullets hitting his body long after he hit the ground.
The good news? The officer who shot McDonald — 16 times, by the way, emptying his gun — will face criminal charges. The bad news? Those charges weren’t brought until just before the video was released, some 400 days after the shooting. The video was released only because a judge ordered it; there’s every reason to believe the officer might not’ve been charged without the video’s publication to the world.
Public scrutiny, it seems, works.
What’s this have to do with Harrisburg? Read more »
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey poses with other police officers Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)
Philadelphia’s top cop is pushing back against a bill that would cloak the identities of officers in “police-involved shootings.”
CBS Philly reports that outgoing Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told KYW Newsradio, “I’m against it. I think it’s a huge mistake.” (His comments came before a Pennsylvania state trooper was wounded during a shootout on I-676 late Tuesday morning.)
The union representing Philadelphia’s police officers has been pushing hard for House Bill 1538, which would generally keep confidential the identity of officers involved in shootings, unless they are charged with a crime after an investigation. The bill passed the House with bipartisan support, and the Senate is expected to take it up soon. Read more »
[Update 4:30 p.m.] Since we posted the story, two more homicides have been reported:
[Original 3 pm] It has been quite a year so far here in Philadelphia. From the Pope Francis visit to the election of a progressive new mayor to an influx of new businesses, ideas, investments and millennials, Philadelphia seems better and more poised for greatness than ever. But then you get to the bad news, which is never in short supply. Among those less-reassuring facts: Our homicide numbers are climbing. Read more »
A new LGBT policing organization is shaping up in Philadelphia that will provide out officers the opportunity to create change within the force.
The Greater Philadelphia Gay Officer Action League, or GOAL, has been a project long in the making, but after a Monday organizational meeting, the new law enforcement organization is ready to launch, and it will be a historic moment for both the city and the nation. Read more »
The original image, left. The replacement, right.
The guy in charge of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Twitter account this afternoon decided to post a welcome message to newly appointed Commissioner Richard Ross, and in doing so, it sure looked like he used the image of a burning cross.
It wasn’t, the department’s social media manager says, but he understood why people thought that was what they were seeing. “Swing and a miss on my part,” he told Philly Mag Wednesday afternoon.
Read more »
Charles Ramsey announces his retirement at City Hall on Tuesday, October 14th. (Photo: Dan McQuade)
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey will retire at the end of Mayor Michael Nutter‘s term in January, he announced today at City Hall. His last day is January 7th, eight years after he was sworn in as police chief.
“I want to thank all the citizens of Philadelphia, all the community organizations that are out there every day, and all the officers in the Philadelphia Police Department,” Ramsey said. “I just want to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to serve in this great city.”
Ramsey, who was born in 1950, has been police commissioner since taking over for Sylvester Johnson at the start of Nutter’s term in January 2008. He left retirement to take the job. Under his watch, killings by Philadelphia Police plunged, with only one this year. Yet the department was still criticized in a scathing report issued by the Department of Justice earlier this year. Ramsey had asked for the report.
“We have, in my opinion, come in compliance with a number of the recommendations,” Ramsey said. “I’m confident we’ll be in full compliance. We’ll come out as a better department, as a stronger department.”
The police killing of Brandon Tate-Brown last year remains controversial — there were protests just yesterday — with conflicting stories told by police and witnesses. (He’s been protested constantly, including at Eastern State Penitentiary.) Read more »
Todd Fedoruk spent his first four seasons of his NHL career with the Philadelphia Flyers. He was in his early 20s. Like many young, newly rich professional athletes, he partied. Later in his career, he had problems with drugs. Fedoruk is retired now.
In an interview with Canada’s TSN, he opened up about his out-of-control drug abuse. He’s trying to encourage players struggling with the same problem to get help.
He also claimed that, occasionally, police in the area look the other way. Read more »
Screenshot | Facebook video
Phila. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey bluntly gave his take on the Black Lives Matter movement while getting his ears lowered last week.
The barber-side chat was part of a monthly web chat series hosted by the commissioner.
“That movement has the potential of being the most significant civil rights movement since the 60s,” Commissioner Ramsey told a group of reporters and patrons huddled around his barber chair while getting a shape-up.
When Philly Mag asked him what he would like to see out of the movement specifically, Ramsey said a broader conversation.
“I want them to expand their focus, not to stop holding police accountable,” Ramsey said in a phone interview. “I want them to address the disproportionate amount of violence in our communities.” Read more »
Starbucks has issued an apology to a police officer involved in a bizarre incident that has since become a viral sensation on Facebook.
Here’s a recap: A police officer posted a long rant complaining that a “young blonde liberal” barista at the 13th and Chestnut location refused to provide him with the bathroom security code, claiming that restrooms are for customers only. He even equated it to growing anti-police sentiment in the country, saying: “It’s hip for this generation to berate and totally disrespect cops in front of the public and praise cop killers as the heroes of their time.” Check out our story from yesterday for plenty more detail. Read more »