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NEWS
May 8, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
IT TAKES a village to raise a child. And, apparently, it also takes one to turn him in. Hasheem Singletary, 17, surrendered to detectives just after midnight today flanked by his brother - who's heading to prison himself - and his brother's attorney, according to police. The youth, whose birthday was Thursday, had been on the lam since Wednesday, when he hopped out of a car en route to his arraignment in a string of violent robberies. After his arrest this morning, Singletary was charged with three counts of robbery, receiving stolen property, gun violations and related offenses stemming from his alleged involvement in two home invasions in Powelton and a stickup in West Philly in February, according to court records.
NEWS
May 6, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
AFTER FIVE WEEKS of testimony, jurors in the federal trial of six former narcotics cops accused of robbing suspected drug dealers will begin to hear closing arguments today. The jury will have to decide which side it believes to be more credible. On the one hand, there are the government's witnesses: the alleged robbery victims - who were admitted or suspected drug dealers - and the feds' star witness, Jeffrey Walker, a former narcotics cop who was arrested in a 2013 FBI sting, and who has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the feds.
NEWS
May 6, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
AS 40,000 RUNNERS barreled down Broad Street, four law-enforcement officials were in a race of their own. The prize was more than a medal and bragging rights - it was a man's life. FBI Special Agents Erik Negron, Tom Powell and Brian Hoffman, as well as Philadelphia Police Officer Matthew Fleming, took action Sunday morning during the Broad Street Run, working together to revive a 35-year-old man, one of two runners who had gone into cardiac arrest, authorities said last night. It happened in a split-second, according to Special Agent J.J. Klaver, an FBI spokesman.
NEWS
May 5, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
UPDATE, 12:10 p.m. Monday: Philadelphia police said Monday that 50-year-old Anthony McGriff has been charged with murder and possessing an instrument of a crime. Police said the motive was listed as an argument. ORIGINAL STORY: LAUGHING and smiling, John "J.R. " McGriff was surrounded by friends and family late Saturday on a neighbor's stoop in West Philly as they sang "Happy Birthday. " It was the 35th time the tune was performed for him. There won't be a 36th. Hours later, apparently after watching Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeat Manny Pacquiao in the welterweight world boxing championship on pay-per-view TV, McGriff was fatally stabbed in his home on Christian Street near 58th, authorities said.
NEWS
May 4, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
FORMER POLICE Officer Michael Spicer - one of six ex-narcotics cops on trial in an alleged corruption scandal - took the witness stand yesterday, telling jurors that no one was hung over a balcony, no windows were smashed with sledgehammers, and that searches and seizures were properly done by his squad. Spicer, 47, dressed in a blue suit, light-blue shirt and a tie, spoke calmly and clearly during his five hours on the stand. Wearing glasses, he explained what happened in about a dozen searches of homes of suspected drug dealers.
NEWS
May 1, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
His signature is on nearly every search warrant and police report that federal prosecutors have flagged as suspicious. He supervised the six Philadelphia police narcotics squad members facing federal corruption charges. So as Police Sgt. Joseph McCloskey took the witness stand in their trial Wednesday, he answered the one question that has followed him since their arrests: Where were you during all of this? "I was there the whole time," McCloskey said. During six hours of testimony Wednesday, the 29-year police veteran walked jurors through each drug seizure, search warrant, and arrest that prosecutors included in their racketeering conspiracy case against Officers Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman, and John Speiser.
NEWS
May 1, 2015 | BY LARA WITT, Daily News Staff Writer wittl@phillynews.com, 215-854-5927
A PHILADELPHIA police sergeant who supervised six former narcotics officers accused of planting evidence, threatening suspects and stealing drugs and money defended the ex-cops during their corruption trial in federal court yesterday. Testifying for the defense, Sgt. Joseph McCloskey told the court that the defendants had filed the proper paperwork and that he had never witnessed any theft or violence. "If that would have happened in my presence, we wouldn't be here today, I would have taken care of it seven years ago," he said.
NEWS
May 1, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
THE 18-YEAR-OLD man allegedly behind the wheel in the Wednesday night hit-and-run crash that critically injured a Temple University student told investigators he left the scene because he was "scared and panicked," police said yesterday. Charges were pending last night for that suspect, who gave a statement to police admitting his role in the crash, said Capt. John Wilczynski, of the police department's Accident Investigation Division. His name was not released. Investigators said the teen was allegedly driving his father's silver Mitsubishi Galant on Park Avenue near Diamond Street about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when he plowed into Rachel Hall, 22, as she rode her mountain bike near Temple's campus.
NEWS
April 29, 2015 | By Will Bunch, Daily News Columnist
THE PHILADELPHIA cops called it a "nickel ride. " The name came from the prevailing price for a ride down a rickety roller coaster in an early 20th-century amusement park - which should give some idea of the ancient roots of this particularly cruel form of police torture. For decades, cops abused criminal suspects by throwing them - handcuffed but unsecured - into the open back of a police van, then careening around sharp curves or slamming the brakes during a rough ride to central booking.
NEWS
April 28, 2015 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
  A former Delaware County police officer convicted of falsely imprisoning two women - alleging making a suggestive comment to one of them - during routine stops was sentenced Tuesday to six years probation. Judge Mary Alice Brennan also fined Christopher Scott, 36, of Berwyn, Chester County, a part-time officer in Darby Township at the time of the incidents, $2,000 and ordered him to undergo psychological evaluation. In January, Scott was convicted of two misdemeanor charges, false imprisonment and abuse of power, but was acquitted of more serious counts of stalking and kidnapping the two women.
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