January 17, 2015 |
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., chairing a Philadelphia roundtable on policing issues Thursday, told attendees not to waste the opportunity they had before them. "Too often, we have not approached these problems" - namely issues of trust between police officers and the communities they serve - "with the candor I'm seeking today," he said. Holder was on the fifth stop in a national listening tour in the wake of widespread nationwide protests against the deaths of unarmed African American men at the hands of white police officers in recent months.
January 7, 2015 |
Mayor Nutter looked back on 2014 Monday, touting a drop in Philadelphia's crime rate but also acknowledging the delicate relationship between law enforcement and the community, in a year when, nationwide, tensions have mounted. In a 20-minute news conference that offered a statistical report card of the year, Nutter praised law enforcement and in blunt terms cautioned citizens against provoking police. "If you shoot a police officer . . . they're going to shoot back, it's their job," Nutter said.
January 1, 2015 |
The system failed mass murderer Bradley Stone's victims and everyone who cared about them. Montgomery County law enforcement officials should show more interest in finding out how. Police say that in just 90 minutes on Dec. 15, Stone killed his ex-wife and five of her relatives during a bloody rampage through Souderton, Lansdale, and Lower Salford. He used a handgun to shoot five of the victims and was also armed with an ax, a machete, and knives. The next day, he was found dead of a drug overdose in the woods near his Pennsburg home.
December 31, 2014 |
About a year ago, Philadelphia Police Chaplain Luis Centeno was approached by Stephen McWilliams, who teaches a social documentary film class at Villanova University. McWilliams was initially interested in profiling the chaplain, but as they talked, both began to see a more meaningful project - about a dark secret, one few law enforcement officers are willing to openly talk about. Suicide. The collaboration led to this to the release this fall of BLUE , a 40-minute documentary chronicling the occupational hazards of the job, and a related app to help officers identify and address the signs.
December 19, 2014
LET ME BEGIN with a statement of fact. Editorial cartoons are not meant to be fair and they cannot hurt you. That said, they can, in the words of one of my ink-stained brethren, punctuate the conversation with satire, mockery and gross exaggeration, ridiculing and lampooning everything from pompous politicking to holier-than-thou hypocrisy. Nobody said it was pretty, but it is oh, so American. Cartoons are supposed to provoke thought, encourage speech and usher in change. And change cannot come soon enough.
December 13, 2014 |
University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann has become the second area college president in a week to face criticism for participating in "die-in" protests held by students. Gutmann lay on the floor with student protesters when they took over her holiday party Tuesday - their demonstration symbolizing the 41/2 hours that the body of Michael Brown, a black teenager, remained on the street after he was shot in August by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. Members of the Penn police force who were working at the party and witnessed Gutmann's participation were "outraged," said Eric Rohrback, president of the 116-member Penn police officers' union.
December 5, 2014
IN AN OLD "Saturday Night Live" skit called "White Like Me," Eddie Murphy went undercover as a white person. The punch line: When blacks aren't around, white people behave differently, giving one another free stuff, including no-strings bank loans. The skit played on the idea that whites and blacks suspect one another of having tribal loyalties and behaviors that they keep secret from one another, and only bring out when they're in "safe" company. Murphy's bit was funny. Not so funny is the belief among some blacks that police are out to get them, and that white society thinks their lives are expendable.
November 24, 2014 |
We love to toast the Internet as an amazing engine for connection, creativity, and growth. We rarely want to dwell on its darker side - the vast cyber-badlands where ne'er-do-wells freely roam. On the Web, you can get away with nearly anything if you have the technical skills to pull it off and the wiliness to stay ahead of the law. Just ask a Nigerian prince - or one of his sorry victims. But if it's the Wild West out there, here's reason for hope. Last week, a Texas company became one of the first reined in by frontier marshals armed with new authority out of Washington - though this time, Wyatt Earp was played by the Federal Trade Commission and state officials in Texas, Illinois, and Ohio.
November 8, 2014 |
The man charged with abducting a 22-year-old Germantown woman this week has arrived in Virginia to face charges in the earlier kidnapping of a 16-year-old girl. Federal prosecutors say Delvin Barnes, 37, violently abducted nursing assistant Carlesha Freeland-Gaither from a Germantown street Sunday and drove her to Maryland. After a frantic search that involved local and federal law enforcement from three states, Freeland-Gaither was found alive in Barnes' car in Jessup, Md., on Wednesday.