South Jersey Police Shooting Draws National Attention

Video of a South Jersey police-involved shooting has drawn national attention, becoming the latest flashpoint in the debate over policing practices.

The incident took place in Bridgeton, south of Philadelphia.

“The video is from December 30th when two police officers pulled over two men in a car,” 6ABC reports. “Officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley ordered 36-year-old Jerame Reid not to move before Reid appears to push his way out of the passenger side door. The video appears to show Reid with his hands in front of him as he stands to get out of the car and is shot and killed by the officers.”

“I’m going to shoot you,” Days shouted in the video,  the Associated Press reported. “You’re going to be f—ing dead. If you reach for something, you’re going to be f—ing dead.”

In a statement, Cumberland County prosecutors have said “during the course of the stop a handgun was revealed and later recovered.” According to the South Jersey Times, “Police have not said who the gun belonged to. The video appears to show Days removing a silver object from the car.”

The video was made public after open-records requests by area newspapers. The New York Daily News reports: “The Bridgeton Police Department released a statement Tuesday expressing it was upset over the video’s release, calling it unprofessional and uncompassionate ‘out of respect for the family.'”

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Wednesday’s City Reads

Albuquerque | Shutterstock

Albuquerque | Shutterstock

National Reads: “In Albuquerque, protests against police shootings and charges against officers”

The national debate around police-involved shootings has largely centered on two places: Ferguson, Mo. and New York. But cities and towns across the country, including Philadelphia, are grappling with the issue.

The Washington Post takes a look one such place: Albuquerque, where “police shot and killed 27 people between 2010 and 2014.”

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Ramsey, Nutter Open Policing Panel

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, co-chair,  the President's Task Force on 21 Century Policing, listens to witnesses at the Newseum in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, co-chair, the President’s Task Force on 21 Century Policing, listens to witnesses at the Newseum in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey is chairing meetings on the president’s task force on “21st century policing” this week — the task force created after police controversies in Ferguson and New York triggered nationwide protests —and Mayor Nutter was one of the first witnesses on Tuesday.

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Three Lessons for Police

Some police officers, left, turn their backs in a sign of disrespect as Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks as others, at right front line, stand at attention, during the funeral of New York Police Department Officer Wenjian Liu at Aievoli Funeral Home, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Liu and his partner, officer Rafael Ramos, were killed Dec. 20 as they sat in their patrol car on a Brooklyn street. The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, later killed himself. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Some police officers, left, turn their backs in a sign of disrespect as Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks as others, at right front line, stand at attention, during the funeral of New York Police Department Officer Wenjian Liu at Aievoli Funeral Home, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Liu and his partner, officer Rafael Ramos, were killed Dec. 20 as they sat in their patrol car on a Brooklyn street. The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, later killed himself. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

When New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio went on the record in saying that he and his wife have “had to literally train” their bi-racial son, Dante, about how to interact with police officers, it set of a battle of wills between the Mayor’s office and the New York Police Department.

De Blasio’s comments come on the heels of non-indictments over the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, and a wave of “Black Lives Matter” protests happening nationwide, including Philadelphia. Protesters are seeking aim to raise awareness about police brutality and call for reforms in the justice system.

Sadly, in the case of NYPD, the message has been distilled into a murky binary of black versus blue. The department has used the tragic shooting deaths of Officer Wenjian Liu and Officer Rafael Ramos to leverage their own passive-aggressive disrespect of both the mayor’s office and the community they are supposed to protect and serve. Officers have literally turned their backs at the mayor during funeral services for both officers (despite the families’ requests.) These self-interested acts have only widened the gap between police and people of color.

The Philadelphia Police Department can only learn from NYPD’s egregious mistakes. Here are three important things for police departments to consider in the wake of the protests:
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Police Kill Man Who Made Threats

Police shot and killed a man in Drexel Hill Tuesday night after he tried to run over officers with his car — and after he’d made a series of video threats against law enforcement.

Fox News reports:

WTXF reported that police had identified the man as Joseph Pacini, 52, of Clifton Heights, Pa. Authorities said that Pacini had posted a video on social media threatening to kill police and FBI agents. The station reported that police had obtained an arrest warrant in relation to the threats and SWAT teams were en route to Pacini’s apartment to serve it when he left in his car at around 4 p.m. local time.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said that officers stopped Pacini at an intersection in the town and ordered him out of his car. Instead of complying, Pacini backed into the Clifton Heights police chief’s car and then prepared to run over other officers.

Chitwood said the officers feared Pacini would kill them and they “did what they had to do.” He said five officers fired at the man and no officers were injured.

CBS Philly adds:

According to police the suspect has a history of mental illness.

He allegedly posted videos on YouTube and threatened to kill police. He posted his last video minutes before he was shot and killed.

“This is my coming out party. So if you want to try and bring me down I will [expletive] kill you and your whole [expletive] family all right? So go ahead and [expletive] with me.”

NBC 10:

In the videos, Pacini claims he was falsely accused of crimes he didn’t commit, begs for singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles to save him and threatens to kill law enforcement officers who were following him.

Pacini also asks Bareilles, a singer best known for her 2007 hit single “Love Song,” to come to his rescue while calling her his “twin flame soul mate.”

“Now Sara, this is up to you to come out and save me,” he says. “You’ve got probably 12 to 24 hours tops. I’m waiting on you.”

Yes, Blue Lives Matter. So Do Black Lives.

Emerald Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, center, visits a makeshift memorial near the site where NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were murdered in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. Police say Ismaaiyl Brinsley ambushed the two officers in their patrol car in broad daylight Saturday, fatally shooting them before killing himself inside a subway station. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Emerald Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, center, visits a makeshift memorial near the site where NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were murdered in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. Police say Ismaaiyl Brinsley ambushed the two officers in their patrol car in broad daylight Saturday, fatally shooting them before killing himself inside a subway station. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

At first, I couldn’t figure out what made me uncomfortable about last week’s rally in Mayfair to support the Police Department.

The Facebook invitation seemed polite and earnest, a genuine gesture of gratitude following an incident in which a man allegedly reached for a handgun during a traffic stop (he was killed after a struggle with police). I’m from the area, and I’m incredibly grateful to the men and women who allow me to go about my life in this city feeling secure – as a woman who routinely walks her three-legged shih tzu while wearing four-inch heels, I rely very heavily on safe streets as opposed to, say, survival skills or physical prowess.

And yet, something about that rally didn’t feel quite right. Something looked confrontational about this peaceful protest.

And then I saw it, my least favorite Facebook meme, out there in the wild on posterboard: a “Blue Lives Matter” sign.

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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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