January 16, 2014 |
COMMON PLEAS Judge M. Teresa Sarmina might want to avoid checking her voice messages for the foreseeable future. The Fraternal Order of Police, District Attorney's Office and the family of fallen Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Boyle yesterday unleashed a torrent of fury in Sarmina's direction as they responded to the judge's recent decision to vacate a death sentence for Boyle's killer, Edward Bracey. In a one-page ruling Friday, Sarmina sided with Bracey's attorneys, who argued that he was mentally retarded - and thus shouldn't be executed, because of a constitutional restriction.
January 9, 2014 |
Shot on the streets of Philadelphia? You might be better off if help arrives in a patrol car than in an ambulance. From 2003 through 2007, gunshot victims taken to city trauma centers by police survived two-thirds of the time - the same rate as those taken by emergency medical squads, according to a new University of Pennsylvania study. But that was only what the raw numbers showed. Generally, shooting victims transported by police during that five-year period were more gravely wounded.
December 27, 2013 |
WHEN CAPT. LOU Campione drives down the streets of South Philly, people stop. They jump at that chance to say hi to "Lou," to ask him how everything's going, to swap information. On a recent snowy afternoon, Campione chatted up the staff of Rosica Pharmacy on Snyder Avenue near 21st Street, speculating on how deep the falling snow would pile. This wasn't police work - although Campione did visit the business to sign off on one of his district's 84 community police logs - just conversation.
December 21, 2013 |
CAMDEN Atlantic City and one of its police officers must pay $250,000 each in compensatory damages after a jury found the officer used excessive force against a man and the department failed to provide proper training to its officers. Michael Troso, 39, a former New Jersey deputy attorney general, sued the city and five of its officers after an incident at the Trump Marina on the night of his bachelor party Aug. 9, 2008. The Wednesday evening verdict came as Atlantic City and the lone officer found at fault, Sterling Wheaten, a K-9 handler, are being sued in at least five separate federal lawsuits.
December 14, 2013 |
TULLYTOWN The Bucks County district attorney on Thursday cleared Tullytown police of any wrongdoing when they used a Taser last month on a handcuffed teen who had run from them and then fell on his face. The 14-year-old suffered numerous facial injuries. A photo of his bruised and scabbed face, which went viral, prompted the investigation. The boy's family said it remained unsatisfied with the district attorney's conclusion and repeated claims of excessive force after the boy was arrested on shoplifting charges.
December 5, 2013 |
MARCUS HOOK Mayor James Schiliro has resigned, a month before his term was to expire. Last month, Schiliro was found guilty in Delaware County Court of recklessly endangering another person, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, official oppression, and furnishing liquor to a minor. On Monday, Schiliro sent a letter to the Borough Council tendering his resignation. "We accepted it," said Borough Solicitor Mark Much. Council President Gene Taylor, who was elected mayor in the November election, will serve as acting mayor until he is sworn in, Much said.
November 29, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA In another setting, Blake Bills might have been envied: 25 years old with a fiancee and 16-month-old daughter, loving and supportive parents, family and friends. "All I want is to be a loving husband to my fiancee and father to my daughter," Bills said. That's going to take some time - 21/2 to 10 years, the prison term imposed Wednesday by a Philadelphia judge for Bills' three-day drug-fueled crime spree. It culminated with a Camden police officer injured, two stolen squad cars, and a high-speed chase over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge that ended when he crashed in North Philadelphia.
November 17, 2013 |
MEDIA The embattled mayor of Marcus Hook was convicted Friday of charges that he fired a gun in his home while holding a 20-year-old friend hostage. James Schiliro was found guilty in Delaware County Court of recklessly endangering another person, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, official oppression, and furnishing liquor to a minor. In February, Schiliro, who had been drinking, had a police car bring a former neighbor to his home, compelled him to drink wine, and would not let him leave.
November 16, 2013 |
SWARTHMORE Amid an ordinary day of teaching classes and supervising lab experiments, Swarthmore College instructor Carr Everbach got the sort of call one afternoon that most professors never receive. A solar panel on a police car was smoking, the caller said. Everbach found himself running to the police station to help handle the smoldering car, the sort of town-gown collaboration that he had not imagined. He helped stopped the panel from smoking, and if his ongoing experiment is a success, he plans to provide more assistance to the Swarthmore Borough Police Department than just amateur firefighting.
October 23, 2013 |
WHEN I SAW Thursday's Page 1 picture showing Philadelphia Police Officer Philip Nace toppling a kids' basketball backboard in North Philadelphia, it reminded me of Sgt. Kovacs in the South Bronx. More than bullies with badges - from what I've read about Nace, and what I know of Kovacs - they are just mean . Kovacs was the terror on wheels of the 41st Precinct - Fort Apache - where I grew up. He'd prowl the streets of the tenement district, a place of close scrapes and fire escapes, in his turtle-shaped squad car looking for imagined trouble.