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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
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
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
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
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.
NEWS
August 2, 2014 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Reacting to the arrest of six Philadelphia police narcotics officers on federal corruption charges, the Committee of Seventy on Thursday called for replacing the Police Advisory Commission with a more powerful and independent oversight body. "Police misconduct has become an epidemic," said Ellen Mattleman Kaplan, interim president and chief executive officer of the nonpartisan watchdog group. "Too many officers play by their own rules and are poisoning the integrity of the entire police force," she said.
NEWS
July 18, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
  The president of the Philadelphia lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police assailed the Philadelphia Daily News on Wednesday, saying there were credible allegations that two of the newspaper's reporters paid for utility bills, food, diapers, and other gifts to a woman whose story was told in their Pulitzer Prize-winning series on police misconduct. In an interview later in the day, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey raised similar criticisms of the reporters, saying that if the allegations were true, the reporters crossed an ethical line.
NEWS
January 8, 2014
The New Jersey Legislature is by now intimately acquainted with the value of cameras in police cars: In a single year, video evidence was used to settle disputes between police officers and two of its own members. True, the Garden State's officials have earned a reputation for unusually frequent run-ins with the law. But their recent experiences suggest enough benefits to the general public and police alike to make cameras standard equipment in patrol vehicles. A bill requiring police departments to equip newly purchased patrol cars with cameras was passed by the state Assembly last month and by a Senate committee on Monday.
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
December 9, 2013 | By Sarah Smith and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
This is what Philadelphia police say about James McKenna's conduct: He was drunk and belligerent - and broke his neck banging his head against cell bars. McKenna has a different account of what happened that June night in 2011. He says police arrested him outside a Center City bar and tossed him unrestrained into the back of a police wagon that sped along, then stopped abruptly again and again until he fell and broke his neck. "I went down two or three times," McKenna said.
NEWS
August 14, 2013 | BY WENDY RUDERMAN, Daily News Staff Writer rudermw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5924
SIGH. New York City, why couldn't you be more like your little sister to the south, Philadelphia? That's what a federal judge suggested yesterday in finding that the New York City Police Department's stop-and-frisk practices systematically violated the constitutional rights of scores of blacks and Latinos. U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin, sitting in Manhattan, lamented that NYPD leaders hadn't followed Philly's lead and reached a settlement agreement to reform stop-and-frisk, rather than engaging in a drawn-out legal battle.
NEWS
July 30, 2013 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
His grandfather escaped from the Treblinka death camp, his grandmother died there. Decades later, when Witold "Vic" Walczak returned to his family's native Poland, a young man amid the Solidarity protests of the 1980s, he got knocked around and strip-searched by police. "At that point, I knew I wanted to be a civil liberties attorney," said Walczak, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. Today, Walczak helps lead the legal fight for what is fast becoming Pennsylvania's preeminent civil rights issue: gay marriage.
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