August 16, 2014 |
Even before 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. - before Eric Garner died after New York City police officers put him in a choke hold - civil rights advocates were calling for police officers to wear cameras that record their interactions with the public. It's a policy, they say, that would protect people against police brutality and exonerate officers wrongfully accused of misconduct. It's a policy already in place in at least three major departments, and in the aftermath of Brown's and Garner's high-profile cases, calls for the cameras are gaining momentum.
March 9, 2014 |
TULLYTOWN She made national headlines last year, alleging police brutality after officers used a Taser on her handcuffed son, 14, who fled from police and fell. The image of his bloodied face went viral. Now, Marissa Sargeant is said to have shoplifted from the same Bucks County Walmart where her son was arrested for shoplifting and subsequently injured. Sargeant and a relative allegedly took $100 worth of unnamed items from the store in Tullytown on Thursday and were arrested after a Walmart employee called police.
March 1, 2014 |
Created by the playwright/director/theorist Peter Brook, with his longtime collaborator Marie-Helene Estienne, The Suit is a touching musical play about life in South Africa under the tyranny of apartheid. Now at the Prince Music Theater, the show has been on tour, first in London, then New York, and is on its way to Washington. It stars the beautiful Nonhlanhla Kheswa as a young wife who longs for "more" in her life. Her husband (Ivanno Jeremiah) learns she has been cheating on him, and when he comes home unexpectedly one morning, he scares off her lover, who leaves behind his suit.
February 21, 2014 |
THE RAIN, ice and lingering snow yesterday did not stop Ulana Mazurkevich. "We are here to show solidarity," Mazurkevich said. With about 20 cohorts, Mazurkevich - president of the Ukrainian Human Rights Committee, a Philly-area group - held a candlelight vigil on Independence Mall in support of rebels in Kiev who have been defying the Ukrainian government. They held signs: "Sanctions; No Going Back to the Gulag!" and "President Obama - Do Not Let Putin Dictate U.S. Foreign Policy.
February 12, 2014 |
WHEN THE district attorney and the police commissioner held a news conference last week about the Philly teen who says he was abused by cops, I figured that was that. Police would say they investigated as best they could, given the lack of cooperation, but found no evidence of wrongdoing. Blah, blah. Case closed. Instead, Commissioner Charles Ramsey and D.A. Seth Williams announced a joint investigation into 16-year-old Darrin Manning's allegations of police brutality. Well, I'll be . . . "We don't normally confirm ongoing investigations, but given the nature of this case, we felt it was important to let the public know that we have been vigorously investigating this case since it occurred," Williams said.
February 4, 2014 |
CLARENCE FARMER SR. had a knack for survival. How many political appointees could keep their job through four very different mayors? He did it by being a likable guy who had no enemies, and being exceptionally good at what his position as chairman of the Commission on Human Relations called for: the ability to bring peace to warring segments of city society. He even met with leaders of the back-to-nature cult MOVE at a time when any self-respecting political leader would tiptoe around the controversial band of countercultural rebels.
January 31, 2014 |
The 2008 election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States symbolized for some Americans an end to the 500-year history of subjugation that has defined the African American experience. It was the last river that African Americans had to cross before achieving true historical liberty. "Yes . . . and no," said Harvard University literary critic and scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., the writer, executive producer, and narrator of African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross . The magisterial, six-hour documentary traces the history of African Americans since the first slaves landed in the Americas in the 16th century.
January 29, 2014 |
CATALYST FOR CHANGE ministries occupies a towering old church on the corner of 38th and Baring streets. Last Friday night, it was filled with more than 100 people gathered for a two-hour discussion about the alleged police brutality against 16-year-old Darrin Manning. The conversation was spirited and sometimes angry. But it was mostly measured and sometimes surprisingly hopeful. Too bad no one from the city or the Police Department was there to hear it - unless they came undercover and chose not to tell organizers they were there.
January 27, 2014 |
This weekend marks the third anniversary of the Tahrir Square revolt in Egypt. It's hard to recall the incredible exhilaration of those days, which I witnessed firsthand: Facebook-savvy activists rallied millions to the square with calls to end police brutality and oust a military-backed dictator. In 36 months, the counterrevolution has come full circle. Several key leaders of the Jan. 25, 2011, protest, including the April 6 movement cofounder Ahmed Maher, have been sentenced to three years in jail - at hard labor.
December 12, 2013 |
WHEN PHILLY author Harold Gullan decided to write a book about the storied career of Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood, he didn't have to go far for research material. Chitwood, known for his penchant for the press, loaned Gullan 40 boxes of news clippings about himself that he's saved over his 49-year career in law enforcement. For a year, the two met every other week at Llanerch Diner in Upper Darby to talk. Each time, Chitwood brought more boxes for Gullan to sift through.