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Rogue Cops

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NEWS
June 1, 1995
A former police commissioner, shortly after his appointment, was asked what he considered to be the major problem confronting him. He didn't pause for a second. "Corruption," he replied. He wasn't saying corruption is particularly widespread in the Philadelphia Police Department; there's no reason to believe it is. What he meant (and other knowledgeable observers agree) was that the temptations confronting police officers day in and day out are too much for a few to resist.
NEWS
November 29, 1996 | by Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
Several years ago, Philadelphia Highway Patrol Officer Allen L. Wilson raced to the scene of a reported burglary, arriving in time to prevent a drug-related homicide, federal authorities say. Mission accomplished, Wilson and an unnamed partner then took $11,000 in drug profits from the intended victim, a man named Butchy, and, instead of turning in the cash to the department, they kept it Wilson, 40, a cop for 17 years who admitted stealing more...
NEWS
December 30, 2010
A newly released report detailing city police arbitration cases sheds new light on an old problem: getting rid of the bad apples on the force. A review of 46 cases over the last decade reveals an ineffective disciplinary system that seems to favor bad conduct. Officers dismissed for serious violations often get reinstated by arbitrators with back pay. The decisions were made outside of public scrutiny, and the outcomes probably would have remained secret. But a Common Pleas Court judge rightfully ruled in favor of the Daily News, which waged an 18-month legal battle to obtain police grievance arbitration decisions.
NEWS
March 10, 1992 | by Joe O'Dowd and Kurt Heine, Daily News Staff Writers Staff writer Jack McGuire contributed to this report
Raphael Perez had a feeling that the Colombians - the ones he owed $12,000 in a dope deal - would be trouble. But not like this. Not kidnap his 2-year-old son, his girlfriend, and another relative and her 2-year-old daughter. Not hold them hostage in a Bucks County hotel room and demand $30,000 for their lives. Perez went to the cops for help. That's when he learned his problems had gone far deeper than disgruntled Colombian dope peddlers. His problems, according to detectives, appeared to involve one and possibly two rogue state troopers working in Philadelphia as undercover narcotics investigators.
NEWS
February 23, 1996
It's not a bad idea, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham's notion of a special unit to investigate rogue cops, though city residents must wonder why such a unit doesn't already exist. To her credit, Ms. Abraham has said pungently what other high city officials seem loath to concede: "The corruption investigation has rocked . . . the whole Police Department up to the commissioner. You cannot just sit back and continue with your old procedures. "You have to do something.
NEWS
September 18, 1995
Nobody ever said it was going to be cheap, having rogue Philadelphia cops bully, rob and frame the citizens they're charged with protecting. What, after all, is the right price tag for being tossed in jail for three years on trumped-up charges? How about the theft of your nest egg during a bogus drug raid? Or having a gun put to your head in an abandoned rowhouse? Civil suits stemming from the 39th District police scandal will seek to define those numbers on behalf of the people who were wronged by dishonest cops.
NEWS
January 16, 2002
Better late than never for the Philadelphia Police Department to come down hard on two high-ranking officers who covered up a drinking-and-driving mishap in 1998. At least one officer's resignation in the face of likely criminal charges addresses the core issue: How could these guys have kept their badges? Any motorist knows what Police Department investigators are saying only now - that criminal charges should be filed against the two captains, James J. Brady, whose resignation was reported yesterday, and Joseph J. DiLacqua.
NEWS
March 30, 1991 | By ROGER E. HERNANDEZ
Two points about the case of the police in Los Angeles. And, two, in spite of the very real problem of violent cops, the urgent crisis in the inner cities is street crime, not police brutality. But first things first. The attack on King was not one of those tough split-second decisions police have to make to protect their lives in crime- ridden neighborhoods. This was not a case in which suspect makes sudden move, cop reaches for gun, bang-bang, dead suspect had no gun after all. This was a case of a suspect lying down, helpless and being beaten senseless for no rational reason.
NEWS
August 1, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Mark Fazlollah, and Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writers
Stories of shakedowns, brutality, kidnapping, and theft have dogged a group of the city's Narcotics Field Unit officers for nearly a decade. But despite multiple investigations, cases against them never stuck. Federal prosecutors set out to change that Wednesday, laying out a sprawling racketeering case against six of the unit's former members. The charges paint them as rogue cops running roughshod over the rights of their targets, confident that few would believe anyone who dared complain.
NEWS
April 25, 2014 | By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Staff Writer
DISGUSTING. Unbelievable. Sickening. There are a thousand more adjectives to describe yesterday's astounding news that no criminal charges will be brought against the cops who terrorized 22 Philly bodega owners. But you need to understand this: The shop owners were all legal immigrants. None had criminal records. Nor had they ever met - they hailed from four corners of the city and spoke different languages. Yet the stories they told Daily News reporters Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman were identical: A Philadelphia plainclothes narcotics squad had barreled into the immigrants' bodegas, guns drawn.
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NEWS
November 15, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
A FORMER Philly cop, fired for making a questionable arrest of an Iraqi War veteran last year, testified yesterday that he released the man without filing charges because of the man's military service. Kevin Corcoran, 34, said he cut Roderick King loose even after King cursed at him, challenged him to fight and refused to give his name while handcuffed and facedown in the officer's marked SUV during the wee hours of March 31, 2013. Corcoran, on trial in Common Pleas Court for false imprisonment, official oppression and obstructing the administration of law, said that King showed "a complete range of emotions" before breaking into tears and sharing that he had served in the Air Force during the Iraqi War. "I felt bad for the guy . . . I said, 'I'm going to cut you a break,' " a calm and confident-appearing Corcoran said while being questioned by his lawyer, Fortunato Perri Jr. Assistant District Attorney Michael Bonner told the jury during his closing argument yesterday that the former cop's version of events was "a fabrication, a convenient after-defense for when this defendant got caught.
NEWS
November 14, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
FORMER Philadelphia police officer Kevin Corcoran, who was fired after making a questionable arrest during a traffic altercation last year, was either a "rogue" cop or an "innocent man" just trying to get home safely to his family. The conflicting portrayals of Corcoran, 34, came during opening statements yesterday in Common Pleas Court, where he is being tried for obstructing the administration of law, official oppression and false imprisonment. The man Corcoran handcuffed and drove to a dark Center City alley at 2 a.m. March 31, 2013, testified that he did nothing illegal and that he felt he was at "the mercy" of an enraged cop. "I was worried because of the way he was acting," said Roderick King, 31. "I was scared that I was not safe.
NEWS
November 13, 2014 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writer
A prosecutor on Wednesday described former police officer Kevin Corcoran as a "rogue cop" who terrorized and falsely imprisoned a man after an altercation last year in Center City, while a defense lawyer depicted the encounter as a judgment call made during a routine patrol. The conflicting accounts emerged during opening arguments and testimony in Corcoran's trial on charges of false imprisonment, obstruction, and official oppression. In an incident that led to the veteran officer's dismissal and arrest, police say Corcoran handcuffed a man and drove him to a North Philadelphia alley after the man's friend chided him for making an illegal turn in his police SUV. Corcoran released the man only after learning he was a veteran of the Iraq war. Corcoran, 34, denies the charges.
NEWS
August 15, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A FEDERAL JUDGE yesterday denied bail to ex-narcotics cop Thomas Liciardello, finding evidence that he was the "de facto leader" of an alleged group of rogue cops, and that he could pose a danger to the community. After U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno ordered him held pending trial on racketeering-conspiracy and robbery charges, Liciardello, 38, looked back toward his wife, Selena, a Philly police officer, and mouthed: "Stay strong. " His wife, who shook as she sat in the gallery next to his mother and stepfather, later cried outside the courtroom.
NEWS
August 3, 2014 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
Center City barber Kenneth Mills says he narrowly escaped the grip of corrupt Philadelphia narcotics officers. Mills, 46, who runs the Extremely Sharp cuttery on South 10th Street, was identified as victim "K.M. " in this week's federal indictment of six former officers from an elite narcotics unit. The indictment described the role of two of the six officers in a November 2011 raid on Mills' shop and his West Philadelphia rental property. It says Officers Brian Reynolds and Perry Betts stole $4,050 and a gold ring in the raid.
NEWS
August 1, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592 "P
POLICE! Police!" the narcotics cops screamed after they busted through a locked, red wooden gate, then burst through the door to the couple's Frankford home. About 10 plainclothes cops, some with police badges around their necks, armed with guns and rifles, raced into their house, on the second and third floor of a building, the wife told the Daily News yesterday. More cops were outside, she said. Her husband, a small-business owner, was one of the men allegedly robbed by a band of rogue cops, six of whom were arrested by the feds Wednesday morning.
NEWS
August 1, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Mark Fazlollah, and Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writers
Stories of shakedowns, brutality, kidnapping, and theft have dogged a group of the city's Narcotics Field Unit officers for nearly a decade. But despite multiple investigations, cases against them never stuck. Federal prosecutors set out to change that Wednesday, laying out a sprawling racketeering case against six of the unit's former members. The charges paint them as rogue cops running roughshod over the rights of their targets, confident that few would believe anyone who dared complain.
NEWS
June 11, 2014
PHILADELPHIA'S unemployment rate showed a promising decline recently, and although things could be on an upturn, the long-term health of a big, old city like ours is by no means a sure thing - especially with intractable problems of schools and crime. One worrisome factor behind the city's crime rate is a troubled Police Department. And new evidence of those troubles should raise red flags not just for the city's leadership but for all of us. According to a recent Daily News report, civil-rights lawsuit settlements reached a new high in 2013 of nearly $20 million to settle 207 claims.
NEWS
April 30, 2014 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
IT HAPPENED. It actually happened. Philly stopped shrugging long enough to call BS on cops getting a pass from the feds for allegedly preying on some of the city's most vulnerable. And that outrage led the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office to review the cases of two women who said they were groped by one of the cops. No word if they'll revisit the 22 Philly bodega owners who said they were robbed and roughed up. "It makes sense for us to do this now given the criticism we've received for something we never looked at before," First Assistant District Attorney Ed McCann said.
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