March 26, 2015 |
Nearly two years ago, a Philly.com report revealed an alarming and puzzling trend: Philadelphia residents had committed fewer violent crimes and fewer assaults on police in 2012 than in the previous year, but the police had shot many more Philadelphians. A subsequent federal review underscores the cause for alarm but leaves less occasion for puzzlement. The Department of Justice report released this week found that the city's officers are not consistently trained or equipped for alternatives to deadly force, nor are they reliably subjected to thorough investigations and oversight when they do fire their weapons.
March 20, 2015 |
THE PHILADELPHIA police officer who shot Brandon Tate-Brown to death during a December car stop in Frankford committed no crimes and will not be charged, District Attorney Seth Williams announced yesterday. Three surveillance tapes, four witnesses, ballistics evidence and DNA results all back up the accounts of the two officers, Williams said. The officers told investigators they pulled Tate-Brown over on Frankford Avenue near Magee around 2:45 a.m. on Dec. 15 because he was driving a rented 2014 Dodge Charger with just its daytime running lights, Williams said.
March 7, 2015 |
Officials of the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday they were postponing the release of their review of the use of deadly force by Philadelphia police. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office said the review would be released at a later date. No reason was given for the delay. The postponement comes as police investigate the shooting death on Thursday of Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III during a holdup at a video game store in the Swampoodle section of the city.
December 17, 2014 |
Police gunfire ending in death is sharply down in Philadelphia, a trend that follows department efforts to reduce the use of lethal force, police reports show. So far in 2014, police officers have shot and killed four people. By the same date last year, they had killed 12. And in 2012 by this date, officers had killed 16. From 2010 through 2014, one Philadelphia police officer - Moses Walker Jr. - was shot and killed. But Walker, who was shot in 2012 after completing his shift, was not in uniform.
July 12, 2014 |
A U.S. Justice Department team listened for nearly two hours Thursday evening as angry Philadelphians lashed out at the Police Department for what they called a long history of unjustified shootings of young black males by white officers. At turns screaming, crying, or simply glaring straight ahead, a series of residents, most of them African American, including several mothers who said their sons had been unjustly shot by police, approached a microphone in City Council chambers and spoke of their pain.
July 24, 2013
AIDED BY Florida's flawed self-defense laws, George Zimmerman won acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager who was minding his own business walking to his father's home in Sanford. The verdict underscores the urgent need for the criminal-justice system to find a better way to deal with those increasingly prone to use deadly force and claim justifiable homicide. Legal experts seem to agree that the law and the judge's instructions left the jury little choice.
July 16, 2013 |
THERE IS no silver lining in the stinking, bloated storm cloud that is the George Zimmerman verdict. But I have been trying desperately to find one. Otherwise, this travesty of justice is too much to bear. Here is what I have come up with so far: 1 Good people of all races have been horrified that Zimmerman was not, at the very least, convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Our rainbow of outrage doesn't make us the colorblind, postracial America we bragged about being when a majority of Americans - composed of all races - elected our first black president.
July 16, 2013
It would be a shame if the unnecessary death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin produced more paydays for the man who fatally shot the unarmed black teenager in the heart during a scuffle. But George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Fla., neighborhood watch captain who has already received hundreds of thousands of dollars from gun-rights advocates and other supporters, is likely to be offered millions through lucrative book and movie deals. Zimmerman, 29, was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges late Saturday night by a sequestered jury that had deliberated about 16 hours over two days.
May 31, 2013
Call it what you want, but taking a closer look at the number of police shootings in Philadelphia makes sense. Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey deserves praise for recognizing that. Too often, law enforcement officials become defensive at the mere suggestion that their department isn't right. That's never been the case with Ramsey. He has consistently insisted that his officers be held accountable, and that policy changes be made when warranted to make the force more professional.
June 20, 2012 |
SHINER, Texas - Hearing his 5-year-old daughter crying from behind a barn, a father ran and discovered the unthinkable: a man molesting her. The father pulled the man off his daughter, authorities say, and started pummeling him to death with his fists. With his daughter finally safe, the father frantically called 911, begging a dispatcher to find his rural ranch and send an ambulance. "Come on! This guy is going to die on me!" the man is heard screaming on the recording, which authorities played during a news conference Tuesday in which they announced that the father would not face charges.