April 12, 2014 |
When he began a career in federal law enforcement, Arthur Lewis set a simple but ambitious goal. He wanted to see his photograph hang on the wall in a prominent place of honor among the hierarchy. In a journey that took nearly three decades, Lewis rose through the ranks as a trailblazer in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He became the first African American acting deputy administrator of the DEA during a career that took him from the gritty streets of Harlem as an undercover agent to the second in charge of the agency in Washington.
March 24, 2014 |
One of the first officers to arrive at the rowdy bar on that awful night was Detective Joseph Delaney. What he saw would haunt him for the rest of his life. "I remember walking in and the tavern being very dark," Delaney recalled in 1988, 25 years after the cold-blooded killings of two officers shocked New Jersey and the country. "My foot slipped on what I thought was spilled beer or wine. "It was blood. The blood of men whom I'd known. " When Delaney entered, the smell of gunpowder lingered in the air. It was Aug. 26, 1963.
March 20, 2014 |
PATRICK KANE couldn't help himself. He had been back to the Wells Fargo Center once - more than 2 years ago - since the shot that changed his life on June 9, 2010, back when the place was still called the Wachovia Center. "I know it was a long time ago," Kane said. "But it feels like it was just yesterday. " Late on that warm summer night, Kane snuck a shot through Michael Leighton's pads that stretched Philadelphia's Stanley Cup drought to 35 years just 4:06 into overtime of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.
March 19, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Monday that she believed leading Philadelphia Democrats ensnared in an undercover sting operation committed crimes, but that the case against them was so badly mishandled by her predecessors that it could not be prosecuted. Responding to a report in Sunday's Inquirer that five public officials, including four state legislators from Philadelphia, were captured on tape accepting cash, gifts, or money orders, Kane said she had no choice but to shut down the investigation.
February 24, 2014 |
If network TV has taught us anything, it's that America's heart and soul reside in its small towns. The Andy Griffith Show , Father Knows Best , Little House on the Prairie taught us about the frontier spirit that built the nation and the moral clarity that guides it. Crime, we learned, was entirely urban, a social disease that festered in big cities. That was before Walter White took us into the New Mexico desert on AMC's Breaking Bad ; before Raylan Givens, the Stetson-sporting lawman on FX's Justified , gave us a tour of the Kentucky trailer parks where prostitutes and gun dealers ply their trade; before Detective Rustin "Rust" Cohle introduced us to a Louisiana scarred by abandoned factories and polluted waterways in HBO's stunning masterwork True Detective . While the networks continue setting crime shows in New York and Los Angeles, cable channels have introduced a new breed of drama that puts the lie to the notion that violent crimes are fundamentally urban phenomena.
February 23, 2014 |
NORRISTOWN The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office and two police departments are teaming to investigate sex trafficking and prostitution in hotels and motels in King of Prussia and Montgomeryville, authorities announced Friday. "Public safety and quality-of-life issues relating to the illegal commercial sex trade and human trafficking are of growing concern in Montgomery County," District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said in a statement. The concern over sex trafficking and prostitution rings is so great, Ferman said, that she, Upper Merion Police Chief Thomas Nolan, and Montgomery Township Chief Scott Bendig took the unusual step of publicizing the operation before it starts to educate the public and hotel workers about the damage to people and communities these activities cause, and to dissuade those who might use the hotels for illegal activities.
February 21, 2014 |
CLOUT TODAY explores the intersection of Philadelphia's political community and the criminal-justice system, paths that have been known to cross before. It's been a busy week. Let's run down the interesting stuff: * The Ironworkers Local 401 made news when 10 members, including business manager Joe Dougherty , were indicted on federal charges, accused of conspiring to torch and damage property when the union wasn't given jobs on construction projects. Here, the Pennsylvania Republican Party saw an opportunity.
February 12, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA While serving 12 years in state prison for armed robbery and assault, Phillip Eric Weems renounced his violent past and wrote a book detailing the more enlightened path he planned to pursue upon his release. "White-collar crime is one of the most sophisticated rackets of illegal activity today," he said in his jailhouse manuscript. "Unlimited amounts of money can be made virtually overnight, and the parties involved usually face minimal and/or no consequences at all. " Weems was right about one thing.
February 5, 2014 |
A Philadelphia grand jury unearthed plenty of blame in the 2012 Kensington blaze that killed two firefighters, but the jurors couldn't come up with a crime that fit "the tale of misdeeds we found. " In a 110-page report released Monday, the grand jury said the owners of the dilapidated Thomas W. Buck Hosiery building had allowed it to become "a firetrap. " Nahman and Michael Lichtenstein never "did anything to bring the building up to code," while an army of scrappers, squatters, and drug addicts had free rein inside the property, the grand jury said.
January 30, 2014 |
AS CONCERN about economic inequality rises to the top of the issue agenda, it is instructive to note that the upturn in poverty of recent years has not been accompanied by a rise in violent crime. To the contrary, since 2008, unemployment and homicides have been inversely related. Is this a puzzling anomaly? Most people assume that hard times cause crime spikes. They reason, plausibly enough, that financial pressures - as a consequence of, say, becoming unemployed - lead to stress, anger and violence.