June 21, 1999 |
In a city that hasn't seen a brand-new cab in at least three years, where the average age of taxis is seven, this qualifies as earth-shattering news: A 1998 Ford Crown Victoria has hit the streets. Dispatched by the small Avant Garde taxi association, it is the newest cab in Philadelphia. True, it is a two-year-old former police cruiser. And, yes, it already has 72,780 miles on it. But fleet owner Mike Menachem says the "new" car is a sign that all Philly cab owners are not as bad as the ones recently chronicled by the Daily News.
June 2, 1999 |
The city will pay $1,125,000 to the estate of a South Philadelphia man who was crushed to death by an out-of-control police car racing to help another officer. The proposed agreement, which is expected to be approved by U.S. District Judge Norma L. Shapiro, will resolve all outstanding federal civil rights claims stemming from the tragic 1997 accident. The accident took the lives of 39-year-old Lee More Rich and his 7-month-old son, Lemore Jordan Rich In the accident's aftermath, lawyers representing Rich's estate had accused the Police Department of encouraging reckless driving, in disregard of public safety, when cops respond to "assist officer" calls.
April 14, 1999 |
A federal judge yesterday postponed a civil trial stemming from the tragic deaths of a South Philadelphia man and his 7-month-old son who were crushed by an out-of-control police car racing to assist another officer. A day before the case was to begin in Philadelphia, U.S. District Judge Norma L. Shapiro, blaming pre-trial publicity for the postponement, ordered the trial to begin June 21, and to be moved to Allentown. Attorneys for both sides said they couldn't discuss the judge's decisions.
April 7, 1999 |
Hundreds of damaged cop cars. Dozens of injured police officers. Millions of dollars in legal costs. Innocent civilian lives ruined or lost. That's what police car crackups - from fender-benders to fatal assist-officer smashups - cost Philadelphia. City cops have been crashing almost 1,000 times a year in recent years - an average of one accident for every marked police car in Philadelphia's fleet. Despite 40 hours of driver training at the Police Academy and one of the nation's most conservative pursuit policies, Philadelphia cops seem out of control on the streets, smashing into everything from utility poles on their coffee breaks to pedestrians during calls by other officers for help.
February 8, 1999 |
The Police Department's Internal Affairs Division is investigating the circumstances under which cops last November entered the home of a robbery suspect whom many claim is innocent. The Daily News reported last week that cops may have entered the North Philadelphia home of Yusuf Warrick, 19, under false pretenses while searching for a suspect in the robbery of a pizza delivery man on Nov. 4, 1998. Warrick was charged in that robbery and spent two months in jail, despite a shaky witness identification and an alibi from his teacher.
December 12, 1998 |
Three veteran cops and a civilian employee must have thought they had the perfect scam. Strip the forfeited cars that rolled into the Southwest police impoundment lot where they worked and replace the parts with cheap stuff. Then sell the good parts and pocket the cash. No one would know - the cars had no owners and were either going to auction or to the scrap heap. Their alleged scam backfired yesterday when the four were busted and charged with a host of theft charges, District Attorney Lynne Abraham and Police Commissioner John Timoney announced at a press conference.
November 1, 1998 |
A 2-year-old Gibbstown girl was in critical condition at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia after falling into a backyard pool in East Greenwich yesterday afternoon, police said. The toddler had wandered away from her mother, who was getting her 5-year-old son into a costume at a friend's home at 251 Kings Highway in East Greenwich. About six children and four adults were in the house preparing to go trick-or-treating, the friend, Susan Tighe, said. "We did not even see her go out the back door," Tighe said.
August 18, 1998 |
I'm not going to complain. That having been said, let me complain. At first, I thought that it was just me. Now I'm beginning to wonder. My point? Is there any room for the nice guy or the good Samaritan in this city? Let me explain: Example 1: On Thursday night, July 16, around 9:30, I witnessed a hit-and-run when a truck plowed into several parked cars at 5th and Market streets. The truck did not hesitate. It weaved around several cars and took off down 5th. I put on my flashers and followed the truck across the Ben Franklin Bridge.
July 24, 1998 |
Philadelphia firefighters work to put out a burning Delaware River Port Authority patrol car yesterday afternoon. Patrolman Brian Keister, 38, of New Jersey, was monitoring traffic in the parked car at the Philadelphia plaza of the Ben Franklin Bridge when it started to smoke. Keister got out and the car caught fire at about 5 p.m. He escaped unharmed. The car was destroyed.
July 15, 1998 |
When John F. Timoney was sworn in as Philadelphia police commissioner, he said it was inevitable that things would go wrong someday and he asked the public not to "rush to judgment. " Someday is now. Things have gone wrong. In just the last 48 hours: Television viewers saw, over and over, a homemade videotape showing a group of police officers subduing a man on Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park, the scene of the annual Greek Picnic, attended by thousands of African-American fraternity and sorority members.