A jury has acquitted a Dover, Delaware, police officer accused of kicking a black suspect in the face — even though the suspect appeared to be complying with commands at the time.
Dover Cpl. Thomas Webster IV, had been charged with felony assault in connection with the 2013 incident, which was captured on a police car dashcam. Webster was seen kicking 29-year-old Lateef Dickerson in the head, knocking him unconscious and breaking his jaw. Dickerson had fled from another officer who was breaking up a fight. Read more »
The only African-American officer on the Medford Township, N.J., police force is suing his employer and the township, alleging a pattern of racial discrimination in promotion, a hostile work environment and retaliation for testimony he gave during an internal investigation of his immediate supervisor, among other charges.
Officer Mark Hunsinger filed his lawsuit in Burlington County Court on October 10th. At a midday news conference December 7th, Walter L. Hudson Sr., founder and chairman of the National Awareness Alliance, NAACP New Jersey State President Richard Smith and Doug Long, the attorney representing Hunsinger, called on township officials to take action to rectify the alleged wrongdoing. Read more »
The last year has been filled with videos depicting — or purporting to depict — police misconduct across the United States. Now the ACLU is encouraging Pennsylvania citizens to join the trend.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania released a new smartphone app on Nov. 13. Called “Mobile Justice PA,” the app lets civilians record video of police-civilian encounters and send it to the ACLU automatically. Read more »
Civil rights activist Walter Hudson (Photo courtesy National Awareness Alliance)
Penns Grove is a small town in Salem County, New Jersey, sitting directly across from Wilmington along the Delaware River. But as small towns go, the borough of just over 5,000 has more than its share of tension and unrest, and community activist Walter Hudson seems to be at the center of a lot of it. 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.”
“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.”
A New Jersey grand jury has chosen not to indict two police officers connected to a Bridgeton shooting in late 2014.
Officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley will not be charged in the shooting death of Jerame Reid, who was the passenger in a car that was pulled over for running a stop sign in December, NBC Philadelphia reports. Read more »
A Philly native is taking over the police department in Ferguson, Mo., where clashes between police and protesters last year helped set off the “Black Lives Matter movement nationwide..
Andre Anderson, 50, has spent 24 years with the police in Glendale, Arizona, rising to the rank of commander, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Prior to that, though, he served in the Army and grew up in Philadelphia, becoming an amateur boxer long the way.
“Anderson said he takes a lot of pride in having grown up in Philadelphia, a city with a rich boxing tradition. He began training at age 12 and boxed his way through the Army as a formidable amateur,” the Arizona Republic said in a 1999 profile. “After leaving the Army, he moved to Arizona and fought two professional fights, winning both, before his boxing career was shattered in 1988. That is when he was struck by a car while fixing a flat tire along Interstate 10 near Eloy.” Read more »
NEW YORK CITY – AUGUST 23 2014: Thousands rallied in Staten Island demanding justice & accountability in the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown & other victims of alleged police brutality a katz / Shutterstock.com
Municipal police departments, as they are now known, began as slave patrols. In fact, the first official one started in 1704 in the Colony of Carolina and then spread throughout the South until 1865. The laws creating those patrols required white men to ride the roads and, as documented by Western Michigan University history professor Dr. Sally Hadden in Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and Carolina, engage in the “monitoring … (of) rigid pass requirements for blacks … breaking up large gatherings … of blacks, … searching slave quarters randomly, [and] inflicting impromptu punishments.”
Sound familiar? Yeah! A lot like 2009 when more than a quarter million persons in Philadelphia were subjected to “Stop and Frisk.” Despite African-Americans constituting 44 percent of the city’s population, they constituted 72 percent of the persons stopped and frisked. And because the vast majority was black men, that means (after extrapolating from available race/gender figures) approximately 20 percent of Philadelphians comprised, inexplicably, nearly three of four persons stopped and frisked. By the way, of that quarter million, less than about eight percent led to formal arrests and even less to convictions. Read more »
A scene from the “Philly Is Baltimore” protest | Photo by Victor Fiorillo
1. The “Philly Is Baltimore” Protest Was “Tensely Peaceful,” and That’s a Good Thing
The Gist: After riots and looting broke out this week in Baltimore in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, state Sen. Anthony Williamssaid Philadelphia is “sitting on a powder keg.” District Attorney Seth Williamssaid “at any given time, anything could happen.” Thankfully, though, Thursday’s “Philly Is Baltimore” protest was, according tonewsreports, largely peaceful. Philadelphia magazine’s Victor Fiorillo, who was there, called it “tensely peaceful” and said “as of 11 p.m., we’d only heard about a handful of arrests.”
Marchers are dispersing. This was a fantastic success story. Huge credit to marchers and mad respect for @PhillyPolice. PHILLY ROCKS!