John Hargraves was fired from his job as a Philadelphia police officer back in October 2012 after he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault following an altercation with his wife. But the 17-year veteran of the force was found not guilty on all charges in 2014, and now he has filed a federal lawsuit (below) against Commissioner Charles Ramsey and the city, saying that his civil rights were violated. Read more »
The above photo was posted to Instagram by Philadelphia paramedic Marcell Salters, along with the message, “Our real enemy … Need 2 stop pointing guns at each other and at the ones that’s legally killing us and innocents.” In another post, he wrote he “never did or will like police.” Geeze, generally when you don’t like coworkers you just grumble behind their back.
Obviously, these are posts that might get you in trouble any any job, let alone one where you work firsthand with police officers. “The fire commissioner believes this photo crossed the line,” CBS 3 reports. Obviously he does! Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said he “thought it was disgusting.”
A group of about 75 protesters denounced the proposed move of police headquarters to West Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Police have long planned to move to the former Provident Mutual Life Insurance building at 46th and Market streets. The Roundhouse, police headquarters at 8th and Race streets, is considered to be the worst building ever by pretty much everyone who has ever worked in it.
A community meeting was held last night about the move at West Philadelphia High School ; protesters didn’t disrupt it.
CBS Philly reports the city’s police officers are being required to watch an eight-minute video from Mayor Nutter before they hit the street during shifts over the next three days.
The video is meant as encouragement — and caution — in the wake of police controversies in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City.
Read more »
There has been a guilty verdict in the shooting death of Philadelphia police officer Moses Walker. Today, judge Jeffrey P. Minehart found Rafael Jones guilty of murder. Jones had agreed to a bench trial in exchange for prosecutors dropping the possibility of the death penalty.
Jones faces a mandatory life sentence without parole for the murder conviction, though he was not sentenced today.
On December 7th, the Bucks County Courier Times ran a syndicated political cartoon from Chris Britt. In that cartoon, minority children waiting for Santa ask him, “Keep us safe from the police.” It’s a reference to the several killings of unarmed black men by police officers this year, including the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland.
As a reaction, Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby — a man who may wish to become our next state senator — fired off a letter to the Courier Times and its editor, Patricia Walker.
It was a reasoned and measured response:
The U.S. Department of Justice has delivered a draft report to the Philadelphia Police Department on how to curb officer-related shootings in the city, the Baltimore Sun reports. (Yes, we’re confused by that too.)
Commissioner Charles Ramsey asked the feds to investigate his agency last year after a Philly.com investigation showed that shootings by police were rising even though overall crime in the city was coming down. Ramsey did not describe the recommendations in the draft report, but seemed pleased by what the Justice Department found.
Jeffrey Cujdik has his job back.
Cujdik is one of the Philadelphia narcotics officers implicated in the Daily News’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Tainted Justice” series. No charges were brought against Cujdik or any of the cops written about in the series; the Inquirer wrote a scathing piece on the series. (Our own Joel Mathis wasn’t quite convinced.)
But Police Commissioner Charles Ramsay fired Cujdik in May despite prosecutors’ decision not to file charges. Now, an arbitrator has reinstated Cujdik, though he won’t return to narcotics and won’t get back pay. A 30-day suspension will remain on his record.