Philly FOP Criticizes D.A. for Not Charging Teen in Cop Fight

Union president John McNesby called Williams "a morally and ethically challenged sideline playboy."

John McNesby and Seth Williams. | Photos by AP

John McNesby and Seth Williams. | Photos by AP

The president of Philly’s Fraternal Order of Police union has criticized District Attorney Seth Williams for his decision not to charge a 16-year-old girl involved in a fight with a police officer earlier this week. 

The incident, which was captured in footage that circulated on social media, occurred Monday afternoon on the 1300 block of South 54th Street in West Philly. Police Commissioner Richard Ross said police were called to the scene after reports of a brawl between a large group of people, which led to a heated encounter between the female officer and the girl.

The incident unfolded when the officer tried backing the girl away from the fight. Ross said the girl admitted to slapping the police officer in the face (an alleged action that was not captured on camera) before the officer pulled her to the ground and apparently started hitting her. Ross told reporters that the girl and the officer involved – neither of whom have been identified – told similar stories as to what happened.

After some deliberation, Williams decided not to file assault-on-police charges against the girl. Earlier this week, Ross told the Inquirer that the police officer, who works out of the 12th District, had been removed from street duty for an Internal Affairs investigation.

In a statement posted to Twitter yesterday, Philly FOP head John J. McNesby harshly criticized Williams for his decision:

Once again, the District Attorney of Philadelphia has chosen to disregard his responsibility and look the other way when a Police Officer is insulted.

First, there was the McCoy debacle in which Williams turned against the police and now this.

The young woman who freely admitted assaulting a uniformed Officer on duty is allowed to walk away with absolutely no accountability by a District Attorney too busy dodging federal subpoenas to do the job he was sworn to do.

It has been very disappointing over the past seven years watching a once promising District Attorney degenerate into a morally and ethically challenged sideline playboy.

Philadelphia’s citizens and Philadelphia Police definitely deserve better.

The District Attorney’s office responded shortly afterward with its own statement:

“District Attorney Williams will never apologize for relying on high investigative and prosecutorial standards before deciding to take away someone’s freedom. And it’s stunning that anyone, much less a member of law enforcement, would ever believe anything else. Mr. McNesby’s comments seem to miss the fact that the District Attorney has prosecuted more police officers than his past two predecessors combined. The District Attorney believes that everyone should be treated the same and held to the same standards regardless of if they are a police officer or not.”

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