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NEWS
April 9, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
"TODAY IS THE day you're gonna die. " Three masked men threatened a woman with those horrific words Saturday as they took turns pummeling her in the back of a Ford Econoline van. The woman, a 53-year-old employee of the National Watch & Jewelry Exchange, on 8th Street near Chestnut in Center City's iconic Jewelers Row, pleaded with her captors as they punched, kicked and tased her inside the van, police said. They had grabbed her minutes before on the first floor of the garage, across the street from where she works.
NEWS
April 9, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
THE FEDERAL TRIAL of six ex-narcotics cops accused of robbing suspected drug dealers resumed yesterday with combative cross-examination of a man who said he was lifted over a third-floor balcony, followed by an ex-drug courier who said cops stole 3 kilos of cocaine from him. Orlando Ramirez testified that on the evening of Sept. 6, 2009, he and another man, Rodney Lord, went to an Upper Darby parking lot on their way to meet with drug buyers. Ramirez said he worked as a courier on behalf of his uncle, who at the time lived in Mexico.
NEWS
April 8, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
TEN PEOPLE arrested last month at a Lawncrest town-hall meeting that turned into a melee opted yesterday to head to trial on their disorderly conduct charges. The self-described "Philly 10" showed up at the March 19 meeting, at which District Attorney Seth Williams and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey were present, to protest the District Attorney's Office decision not to file charges against two cops who had fatally shot Brandon Tate-Brown in December. The 10 had a status appearance in front of Municipal Court Trial Commissioner Marsha Floyd.
NEWS
April 6, 2015 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
IF A MASTER thief ever pens a guide on how to get away with the perfect crime, he'll surely include a footnote or two about Frederick Joseph Jones Jr. It'll be a short entry, containing this crucial warning: Do not leave your wallet at the scene. Jones, 28, made that critical mistake after he allegedly robbed a woman of $140 outside of an Upper Darby Wells Fargo Bank earlier this week, said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood. The police department summed up the situation in a tweet that read like an old telegram: "Mr. Fred Jones-good news-we found your wallet.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
With a burly police officer on each of his handcuffed arms and a 19-story drop below him from his penthouse apartment balcony, drug dealer Michael Cascioli was asked a troubling question. "You've seen the movie Training Day ?" Cascioli recalled Police Officer Thomas Liciardello asking, referencing the 2001 film featuring Denzel Washington as a dirty cop. "This is Training Day for . . . real. " What followed, as Cascioli told a federal jury Wednesday, is one of the most disturbing instances in a case filled with allegations of outrageous behavior by a rogue police narcotics unit.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
MICHAEL CASCIOLI told a federal jury yesterday that he was tackled by plainclothes cops in the hall outside his penthouse City Avenue apartment and later hoisted off the ground from his 19th-floor balcony as he feared for his life. At first, he didn't know the men were cops. It was the night of Nov. 26, 2007, and Cascioli, who admitted he was a big-time dealer, said he was carrying a bag with marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms and was about to go down a stairwell to see another resident, Robert Kushner, who lived one floor below him at the Executive House on City Avenue.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | By Howard Gensler
C OMMON MIGHT BE espousing a movement for black Americans to forget the past and look to build a stronger future, but not everyone is on board just yet. Some folks are still looking back. New Jersey's Kean University has canceled the Academy Award-winning hip-hop artist as its commencement speaker after police voiced concerns over his song about a convicted cop killer who fled to Cuba. He was named Monday. Nixed Tuesday. A Common mistake. University spokeswoman Susan Kayne told the Record that the announcement was made prematurely and that the school is pursuing other speaker options.
NEWS
April 3, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
JASON KENNEDY told a federal jury yesterday how narcotics cop Michael Spicer lifted and leaned him over Kennedy's third-floor Old City balcony, and asked: "Head first or feet first?" Which way did you say you wanted to go? Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Wzorek asked. "I said, 'Feet first,' and he said, 'You're not such a dumb f--- after all,' " Kennedy testified. Spicer didn't throw Kennedy off the back balcony of his condo, on Front Street near Callowhill, on that Feb. 24, 2010, evening, Kennedy said.
NEWS
April 2, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
ROBERT KUSHNER told a federal jury yesterday that back in 2007, he was a Lower Merion High School and George Washington University graduate who was selling marijuana when cops robbed him of $110,000, including money he kept in his apartment safe. Kushner, 32, now a basketball coach, said he was driving on Ridge Avenue in the city about 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16, 2007, when an unmarked police Ford Expedition signaled for him to pull over with a blue siren on its dashboard. After he stopped his car, Kushner said, Officer Brian Reynolds came out of the SUV with "his gun pointed at me," pulled me out "and put me in handcuffs.
NEWS
April 2, 2015 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
Three months after a Franklin Township police car fatally struck a 10-year-old boy, the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office issued a directive Tuesday requiring officers to use warning lights and sirens when their vehicles surpass speed limits by 20 m.p.h. or more. Local police departments may impose more stringent policies, but the 20 m.p.h. clause provides a "ceiling" for officers during police responses, Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton said. The prosecutor's office, which undertook its policy review after the Dec. 28 accident that killed Matthew McCloskey as he crossed Delsea Drive in Franklin, also established three countywide categories of police responses for the county.
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