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Police Misconduct

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NEWS
May 2, 2002 | By Jonathan Gelb INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Cheyney University officials said a panel will look into allegations of police misconduct stemming from the early morning arrest yesterday of a student. The five-person panel was convened by university president W. Clinton Pettus after he met with a group of students, spokeswoman Sharon Cannon said. The panel will look into claims by students that Pennsylvania state troopers from the Media barracks may have used unjust force in detaining Michael Vincent Etter, 21, of Philadelphia.
NEWS
April 22, 1986 | By Christopher Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Citing a "widespread perception" that police abuse in Philadelphia "has been increasing and becoming more violent," a coalition of community groups yesterday recommended a series of reforms aimed at reducing police misconduct and increasing departmental accountability. The recommendations included requiring the mayor and police commissioner to give yearly public reports on the department; making public all police policies and procedures; toughening the department's deadly-force guidelines; increasing the number of blacks, Hispanics and women on the force, and changing the manner in which the department deals with reports of misconduct.
NEWS
March 18, 2011 | By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES - The New Orleans Police Department has engaged in a wide-ranging pattern of misconduct including the excessive use of force and unconstitutional arrests, the Justice Department announced Thursday. In a lacerating report that followed an investigation requested by local officials, the Justice Department found the department had failed to adequately protect the city. There have been complaints about the department for years, but the difficulties reached a crescendo when unarmed people were shot amid the tumult of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
NEWS
September 29, 1993 | by Kathy Sheehan, Daily News Staff Writer
Neil Ferber's 45 months on death row for a 1981 mob-related double murder he didn't commit will cost the city $4.5 million. A Common Pleas jury yesterday blamed the Police Department, and two officers in particular, with wrongfully prosecuting Ferber as one of two gunmen who blew away reputed mobster Chelsais "Steve" Booras and a dining companion at the Meletis Restaurant at 8th Street near Catharine. The jurors' award included $2.5 million in punitive damages, $750,000 for intentionally inflicting emotional distress, and $500,000 for the suffering of Ferber's ex-wife, Annette.
NEWS
July 3, 2010 | By Miriam Hill and Marcia Gelbart, Inquirer Staff Writers
A former city employee who investigated police misconduct says city officials fired him last year for giving to Philadelphia Daily News reporters information that led to their Pulitzer Prize-winning series on police corruption. In a federal lawsuit filed here Friday, Wellington Stubbs, who was the chief investigator for the Philadelphia Police Advisory Commission, created to handle reports of police wrongdoing, said Mayor Nutter and the deputy mayor for public safety, Everett Gillison, retaliated against him for helping the Daily News.
NEWS
December 13, 2013 | BY JAD SLEIMAN, Daily News Staff Writer sleimaj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
POLICE IN A Bucks County town acted appropriately when they stun-gunned a handcuffed teen fleeing arrest, prosecutors announced yesterday. Joseph Williams, 14, was handcuffed on suspicion of shoplifting and was fleeing arrest on foot when Tullytown cops shot him with a stun gun last month. His scraped-up mug made the rounds on social-media networks after his mother blamed his injuries on a police thrashing. Police maintained that the ninth-grader's face-first fall caused all the damage, including a broken nose.
NEWS
November 17, 1995 | By Mark Fazlollah, Richard Jones and Daniel Rubin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS Inquirer staff writer Craig McCoy contributed to this article
Police misconduct is costing Philadelphia taxpayers a fortune. In the last 28 months, the city has agreed to pay about $20 million in lawsuits arising from citizen complaints, according to city Law Department records and court documents. The payments arose from more than 225 civil cases that the city has either settled or paid since July 1993. The cases include 78 complaints of police assault, 18 of civil rights violations, 50 of excessive force, 56 of false arrests, and 7 of police shootings.
NEWS
September 11, 1995
Dumfounding! Unbelievable! Beyond comprehension! I'm talking about the continuing police scandals in our city. To the remainder of the men and women of the Police Department, it is an unwarranted black eye. The majority of officers do their job without depending on manufactured evidence or falsely accusing anyone, but people think, "There's another one of those criminal cops. " All the honest hard work over the span of a career is put aside and forgotten each time people read of yet another cop gone wrong.
NEWS
December 15, 2010 | By JAN RANSOM, ransomj@phillynews.com 215-854-5218
Passion, anger, frustration and optimism radiated from testimony at a City Council hearing yesterday on police misconduct. "I fully acknowledge that we have a problem in our organization now and I'm committed to fixing it," said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. Council members Donna Reed Miller and Curtis Jones Jr. held the nearly seven-hour committee hearing in hopes of garnering suggestions on how to improve police-community relations, publicize methods to file complaints and explore how police misconduct is being addressed.
NEWS
December 23, 1992 | By Fredric N. Tulsky, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In the early hours of Nov. 12, 1989, Officer Luis Lazarde arrested two men outside a bar on Germantown Avenue. Both men were taken to the hospital with head injuries that night. The officers who transported the prisoners said they found one of them - Ventura Martinez Perez - bleeding when they arrived that night. They said they saw Officer Lazarde strike the second prisoner - Victor Rodriguez. They also said Lazarde tried to get them to help cover up the incident. Lazarde denied the accusations and said his fellow officers were framing him. In April 1991, then-Police Commissioner Willie L. Williams announced that he was firing Lazarde for misconduct.
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NEWS
August 10, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
In the context of events outside professional football, accusations that racism played a role in Eagles coach Chip Kelly's decisions to trade several black players are understandable, though not believable. In recent months, this country has seen evidence of the unequal treatment African Americans face at the hands of police, at times resulting in death. It has heard charged rhetoric in defense of an odious emblem embraced by racist groups, the Confederate battle flag. Meanwhile, schemes persist to further erode protections provided to blacks by the Voting Rights Act. With such evidence of racial discord playing in the background, Kelly traded running back LeSean McCoy in March and cornerback Brandon Boykin last week, only to have them echo wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who suggested after being traded last year that race played a role in Kelly's decision.
NEWS
August 5, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Philadelphia suburb Deptford Township has the wrong perspective on New Jersey's effort to equip all state troopers and police officers with body cameras, which local officials criticize as an unfunded mandate. Body cameras are fast on their way to becoming as ubiquitous as guns and body armor in police departments. While a number of high-profile recent cases have shown that cameras can create valuable records of police misconduct, they can also protect officers from false allegations.
NEWS
April 25, 2015 | Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Democratic primary for mayor went negative this week with a website whose caustic tone spread like an Internet virus to other campaigns. State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams launched ProgressivePhilly.com, which suggested that former City Councilman James F. Kenney and former District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham had been soft on rogue cops in their political careers. Kenney's campaign, during the taping of a debate to be aired Thursday evening on Fox29, issued an e-mail hitting Abraham on some of the same issues raised by the Williams website.
NEWS
April 18, 2015 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
What started as a simple dispute when Anthony S. Jones refused to remove his hat in a courtroom escalated, with Jones facing serious charges, a public defender alleging she was punched by a Philadelphia police officer, and claims of police misconduct. Last Friday in Municipal Court Judge Marvin Williams' courtroom, Jones, who was in the Criminal Justice Center as a defendant on another matter, was ordered by an official to remove his hat. According to the police report, Jones, 22, of the Rhawnhurst section of the city, was screaming and cursing in the hallway after he was ejected from the courtroom.
NEWS
April 1, 2015 | Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was billed as a conversation with the mayoral candidates - and the discussion wandered far and wide Monday night. Doug Oliver, for instance, allowed that black men have reason to fear police. But police, he said, have as much reason to fear black men. Lynne Abraham bemoaned "dark, crummy, cramped cabs" in arguing that start-ups like Uber and Lyft should have a chance to compete here, so long as they are fairly regulated. Jim Kenney acknowledged that he frequently had blocked Twitter followers who annoyed him, calling the practice "liberating.
NEWS
March 18, 2015
PHILADELPHIA'S getting another national black eye, this time in Rolling Stone , thanks to what looks like illegal, out-of-control behavior by some Philly cops. To anyone living here, that's not an aha! moment. Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman won a Pulitzer for a series exposing it, and the Daily News, the Inquirer and other publications have carried dozens of stories on disgraceful police misconduct in recent years. Difference is, Rolling Stone earlier this month put the suspected criminals-in-blue on a national stage.
NEWS
March 9, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The heinous murder of Officer Robert Wilson III is another jarring reminder of what is at stake when a man or woman puts on a badge and takes an oath to protect and serve the rest of us. In the context of recent protests of alleged police misconduct in places like Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., Officer Wilson's sacrifice takes on even greater significance. Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey alluded to those incidents in praising Officer Wilson, who was fatally shot while stopping an attempted robbery Thursday in North Philadelphia.
NEWS
December 16, 2014
ISSUE | POLICING Earned trust is key We hope Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey can make a real difference as cochair of President Obama's task force on policing ("Should have had trials," Dec. 7). That's not because his Philadelphia department has a perfect track record. It doesn't. But there are positive steps underway, including publishing basic details about officer-involved incidents in the wake of a U.S. Department of Justice review. The tragedies in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., resonated because many communities - particularly those of color - have experience with police misconduct or brutality.
NEWS
November 8, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
August 16, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan and Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writers
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.
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