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NEWS
March 12, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
JAMES GERARD BECKER III, whose friends called him Ray or Jib, would have gotten such a kick out of yesterday's Eagles quarterback trade, his family said last night. The Kensington CAPA High School senior "would have had a field day with that," said his uncle Tony Becker, standing in a small kitchen in his brother's house. The teen's father, James G. Becker Jr., chimed in: "He wanted to work in sports any way he could get into it. " But his son's career dream was dashed Thursday when he was accidentally shot by classmate Ivan Oberholtzer inside Oberholtzer's bedroom in Kensington, a police spokeswoman said last night.
NEWS
March 10, 2015 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
WHEN CHURCH was over yesterday afternoon in North Philly, Jomo Brown walked over to a Lehigh Avenue shopping center and entered a Rite Aid, not really knowing what he was looking for or how it would help heal his pain. Brown, 45, looked over the shelves in Aisle 3, at the plastic Easter eggs and stuffed bunnies. He grabbed a red teddy bear, likely a leftover from Valentine's Day. He bought the $9 bear, which held a heart that said "I Love You," and the cashier put it in a black plastic bag. Brown took the bear outside, bent down and placed it amid a makeshift memorial of candles and flowers outside the GameStop store where Philadelphia Police Officer Robert F. Wilson III was fatally shot during a robbery Thursday afternoon.
NEWS
March 9, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, STEPHANIE FARR & DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writers vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
YESTERDAY, THE CITY tried to make sense of a senseless act, to find answers among chaos. Why would a former high-school basketball ace throw away a promising career for petty robbery? What cruel fate led to a greedy bandit running into police officers during two unrelated robberies years apart? And, most of all, why did Officer Robert Wilson III, a dedicated public servant and caring family man, have to die while buying a gift for his son? "I think he redefined what a hero is all about," Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said of Wilson.
NEWS
March 9, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A FEDERAL JURY yesterday found in favor of a police officer who had arrested a photojournalism student in Rittenhouse Square. Officer George Gaspar Jr. had been sued by Coulter Loeb, who was a student at the University of Cincinnati and who was visiting Philadelphia in summer 2011. The panel of seven jurors deliberated for about an hour before reaching its verdict, finding there was probable cause for Loeb's arrest on a summary charge of disorderly conduct. "We're very thankful for the jury's verdict in the case," Deputy City Solicitor Amanda Shoffel, one of two attorneys in the city Law Department who represented Gaspar, said afterward.
NEWS
March 8, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
DURING A CHAOTIC struggle in a Feltonville corner bodega in August 2013, Eric Torres "did not act in any way to intentionally shoot or assault any officer," a defense attorney told a jury yesterday in her closing argument. Torres was on the ground, on his stomach, in the back of the Almonte Mini Market, at 4th and Annsbury streets, with cops on top of him, defense attorney Catherine Berryman said. She agreed Torres had a gun on him that day, but argued that "the gun went off" when a cop "pulled on it" during the melee, or the trigger could have accidentally got caught on something and fired.
NEWS
March 8, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A COMMON PLEAS judge yesterday threw out more than 100 convictions in drug and related cases tied to at least one of the six ex-narcotics cops indicted on federal racketeering conspiracy charges last July. The ex-cops - Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman and John Speiser - face trial this month in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, with jury selection to begin March 16. In Common Pleas Court yesterday, President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper dismissed 110 convictions in which at least one of the six indicted cops was involved in the defendants' arrests.
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
COULTER LOEB was in Rittenhouse Square in July 2011 photographing two cops talking to a couple of "transients" - a man and woman who appeared homeless or were camping out. Moments later, as Officer George Gaspar Jr. was escorting the woman out of the park, Loeb, then a 23-year-old photojournalism student at the University of Cincinnati, asked Gaspar if he could take a portrait of the woman. Loeb, 27, testified yesterday on the first day of his federal civil trial against Gaspar that the cop said, "No, you have to wait until my business is finished.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
ONE DAY AFTER a federal task force co-chaired by Philly Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey recommended 59 ways to improve policing nationally, Ramsey said reform could - in some cases - take generations. During a morning news conference yesterday, Ramsey said many of the recommendations made by the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing are complicated and can't be quickly implemented. Of police body cameras, for example, Ramsey said issues such as cost and privacy remain unresolved.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Columnist
He got home after more than 10 hours in a jail cell, his eye as swollen and purple as a ripened plum, his scalp a patchwork of stitches from the police officers' batons, and he took a shower to wash away the blood. He had to get to work. As bad as he looked, as bad as he felt, Najee Rivera did not want to miss a shift at the hospital. His girlfriend, Dina Scannapieco, had found him the job. She worked at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as a nurse. She had seen the listing on the website.
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