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 »

Police Arrest Suspect in Overbrook Cop-Dragging Incident

Kevin Cooke

Kevin Cooke

Philadelphia Police have arrested a 52-year-old Cheltenham resident in connection with an incident in the overnight hours of Sunday where a routine traffic stop turned into a high-speed chase that had the officer who made the stop hanging on for dear life at the outset.

According to the police report, two officers on overnight patrol stopped a silver Infiniti driving without headlights near 60th Street and Lancaster Avenue. When the officer on the driver’s side of the car approached, the driver allegedly ducked over to the passenger side, then got up again in the driver’s seat without license or vehicle registration. When the officer requested his license and paperwork, he said he noticed a strong smell of alcohol coming from both the driver and the inside of the car. Read more »

Philly’s Larry Cooper Tried to Stop a Robbery. He Went to Jail Instead. A Court Says That’s OK.

Larry Cooper isn’t just an innocent man — the Philadelphia man is a Good Samaritan. That, at least, is what a federal appeals court says. But that wasn’t enough to keep him out of jail.

According to court records: When Cooper left Jefferson University Hospital one day in April 2012 — his wife had just undergone surgery — he was approached by a stranger asking directions. While he was helping, two men came up and robbed the stranger. Cooper tried chasing the robbers down — and when that failed, gave his cell phone to the victim to call police.

The victim told police that Cooper was one of the robbers. The police then arrested Cooper, despite his denials of being involved in the crime. Unable to post bail, he spent 77 days in jail before going free. Read more »

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