Courier Times: We Wish We’d Picked a Different Cartoon

Yesterday, we told you about an editorial cartoon causing an uproar. The cartoon, by syndicated cartoonist Chris Britt, ran in the Bucks County Courier Times and showed a line of black children asking Santa to keep them safe from the police.

Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police head John McNesby called on the paper to apologize, writing “there is a special place in hell for you miserable parasites in the media who seek to exploit violence and hatred in order to sell advertisements.” He also wrote he hopes the paper folds.

Well! The Courier released a statement yesterday. It came short of apologizing — but did say the editors wish they’d picked a different syndicated cartoon:

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Police Source: “People Are Going to Get Locked Up” in Center City Gay-Bashing Case

Philadelphia Gay News has released some interesting new details in the gay-bashing that happened on September 11th on 16th and Chancellor streets, most important of which is that arrests are expected this week:

A police source said this week that they were nearly “ready to go” in terms of making arrests and said charges are expected “this week.” A key witness, the source said, was due in for an interview Monday, “the girl who was right in the middle of it all.” After that, the source said, the District Attorney’s Office will review all of the evidence collected in the case and make a decision about charges.

“People are going to get locked up,” the source said.

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Pa. State Trooper’s Funeral Held as Hunt For Suspect Continues

dickson A funeral was held Thursday for Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II, a state trooper and Marine Corps vet killed in a seemingly random ambush last week in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Dickson was 38.

“His uniform was always crisp and spotless,” fellow state trooper Derek Felsman told The Morning Call. “He’d spend hours upon hours shining leather gear, day after day. A day never went by when Cpl. Bryon Dickson wasn’t ready for his final inspection.”

Meanwhile, the hunt for the suspect continues. Police say Eric Frein, 31, ambushed two state troopers Friday night and is thought to have disappeared somewhere in the Poconos. Trooper Alex Douglass, 31, survived the attack and has been talking with authorities.

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Philly PD Wants to Expand Camera Registration Program

Front door camera

Several years ago, the Philadelphia police department began a program that would expand the use of private surveillance cameras for use in solving crimes. Called SafeCam, it allowed businesses and residents to register their cameras with police. Cops could then request a copy of videos captured with cameras if a crime took place in the area.

Businesses can even get a small tax break for installing cameras and registering them with the city. So far, 4,300 cameras have been registered with SafeCam.

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Officer Attacked by Police Dog Needed Surgery

Ventnor police officer Jamie Pirchio was attacked by her police dog and required surgery the same day. The K-9 was the New Jersey resort city’s only police dog.

Officer Jamie Pirchio was attempting to feed the dog at her home when the dog began attacking her arms, legs and hands. She was able to get the dog back in its cage and ran to a neighbor’s house for help.

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SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel on Body Cameras and Cheese Sandwiches

On Twitter, at least, SEPTA Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel might be the most gregarious police officer in the city, virtually palling around with journalists and regular citizens alike. (He runs neck and neck, digitally, with Philly Police Detective Joseph Murray.) He regularly posts photos of fare-jumpers being caught by his officers, appended with the #cheesesandwich hashtag — the cheese sandwich being what they serve you as a meal in jail.

But Nestel also takes his job seriously. He recently announced a pilot program to put body cameras on his officers — a move that should cheer civil libertarians who point out that similar programs have resulted in steep drops in complaints against officers where such systems are already used.

“I’d like to see a reduction in the incidents where we have to respond to resistance. I’d like to see a reduction in the number of complaints,” he told Philly Mag recently. “And I think that this would also be a tremendous tool to help us reduce court overtime, because with audio and video evidence, offenders are going to be more likely to plead guilty and minimize the number of times that we have to send officers to court.”

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Atlantic City Councilman Indicted for Allegedly Wearing Ex-Cop’s Shirt, in Thing That Actually Happened

Atlantic City Councilman Rizwan Malik has been indicted on charges of obstructing the administration of the law and tampering with evidence for wearing a police officer’s shirt and ripping the name badge from it before returning it to police. I am not making this up.

The Press of Atlantic City’s Lynda Cohen reports the charges stem from a fight between Malik and a neighbor that the cops were called to on December 3rd. No charges came from that incident, but the Press writes police reported Malik was wearing a shirt with a “T. Mayfield” name badge. Torres Mayfield is an ex-Atlantic City cop who has run for elected office in the city several times.

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More Grindr Gone Wrong: Delaware Deputy Attorney General Charged With Rape of 16-Year-Old-Boy

daniel simmonsYesterday on G Philly, we reported on the disturbing case of a Philadelphia man who was murdered in Chester after connecting with someone on Grindr. Not far from Chester, in the state of Delaware, another case of “Grindr gone wrong” has landed a deputy attorney general in major hot water.

Wilmington’s Daniel Simmons, 34, was charged with four counts of fourth-degree rape. He is alleged to have sexually assaulted a 16-year-old boy he met on Grindr. Simmons was released after posting $45,000 secured bail. According to a report from The News Journal, Simmons, who was assigned to the New Castle County Misdemeanor Trial Unit, had been under investigation since March.

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