Cop faces suspension, charges infalse arrest of Iraq War veteran

Officer Kevin Corcoran
Officer Kevin Corcoran
Posted: March 14, 2014

A PHILADELPHIA police officer has been suspended and criminally charged after he allegedly yanked a war veteran off a Center City corner last year, handcuffed him and drove him around in his SUV, irked that the man and his friends had criticized his driving.

The 16-minute saga started when Officer Kevin Corcoran, 33, a nine-year veteran of the force, was patrolling in his SUV near 13th and Lombard streets about 2 a.m. last March 31, according to the District Attorney's Office.

A pedestrian, part of a group of people on the sidewalk nearby, yelled to Corcoran that he'd made an illegal turn, prompting the officer to get out of his car and yell at the group, the D.A.'s office said yesterday in a statement.

As onlookers began recording the incident on their cellphones, Corcoran allegedly slapped a device out of Roderick King's hands and confronted him, saying: "Don't f---ing touch me!" The officer allegedly kept walking toward King, "who was backing up with his hands out in front of him making no contact with the officer," the statement from the D.A.'s office said.

Corcoran then pushed King, threw him against the SUV, handcuffed him, hurled him into the back of the car and sped away, officials said. The whole incident was caught on tape. King was not the person who criticized Corcoran's driving.

Corcoran drove King somewhere off Broad Street, telling him he was under arrest for public intoxication, the D.A.'s office said. But Corcoran "did not prepare any of the required police paperwork for a public-intoxication arrest, had no evidence that the victim was intoxicated, and was in fact driving in the opposite direction of the 17th Police District, where Corcoran was assigned," the D.A.'s office said.

King then told Corcoran that he was an Iraq War veteran and had never been arrested before. That prompted Corcoran to stop at 13th and Rodman streets, uncuff King and release him.

Corcoran turned himself in to Internal Affairs yesterday. He is charged with false imprisonment, obstructing administration of law and official oppression. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has suspended Corcoran for 30 days with intent to dismiss.

King, of Lansdale, sued the city over the incident in May, seeking more than $1 million in damages for civil-rights violations.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Police Department last year over citizens' right to record police activities.

The lead plaintiff was a Temple University student and photojournalist whom police arrested for disorderly conduct in January 2011 when he recorded the police response to a rowdy crowd at 15th and Market streets.


On Twitter: @DanaDiFilippo

Blog: phillyconfidential.com

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