December 7, 2014 |
Anger and anguish over police killings in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., continue to bubble up across the region, with city school students, teachers, and the teachers' union president speaking out Friday. At three Philadelphia schools, students staged a "die-in" as a statement against police brutality and racism. At midmorning, 100 students at Masterman High School assembled in a first-floor hallway during their lunch period. They sat or lay down silently, some holding "Black Lives Matter" signs, others closing their eyes or staring straight ahead.
November 26, 2014 |
One veteran Philadelphia civil rights lawyer found the evidence exonerating Officer Darren Wilson murky. There were no accounts of Michael Brown's appearing to reach for a gun, no flash of something silver, the lawyer said. Another defense lawyer said he was both bemused and surprised to see all the attention paid by the grand jury to exculpatory evidence. "Did that happen because it was [about] a police officer?" the lawyer asked. "I think the answer is probably yes. " But a former prosecutor who won convictions against Philadelphia police for brutality was won over.
November 24, 2014
IN 2012, Philadelphia Police Lt. Jonathan Josey became a national symbol of police brutality after a cellphone video went viral of him hitting a woman in the aftermath of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. He was charged with simple assault and fired - only to be exonerated the following year. Josey, at the time a decorated, 19-year-veteran of the police force, also got his job back - complete with back pay. Fast-forward to 2014 and Josey is not only a vindicated man but a wiser one. The incident, which made national headlines, helped him reorder his priorities about what's really important, a message he shares in his new play, "What If Heaven Was Black.
November 8, 2014 |
A lawyer for a Camden man who was paralyzed during an encounter with police called Friday for authorities to release more video of the incident, repeating claims of police brutality and cover-up made in a suit. The Camden County Police Department has denied the claims, and a spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said Friday that it stood by statements made in June, after an initial review, that surveillance video did not show excessive force or police misconduct. Xavier Ingram, 21, was paralyzed after he fell while running from officers across Seventh Street near Chestnut Street around 10 p.m. June 12, police said.
November 6, 2014 |
As darkness fell in Center City on Wednesday, about 20 young people in pale white masks and dark clothing milled around quietly as police gathered nearby. The group was made up of members of the worldwide "hacktivist" group Anonymous. They had assembled at Eighth and Market Streets before marching to City Hall to protest corruption and other societal ills. "Our goal is to hopefully instate a government that works by the people, for the people," said one protester who, like almost all his companions, wore a Guy Fawkes mask and declined to state his name.
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.