Philadelphia Police Commissioner Asks For Federal Review of Use of Deadly Force; Cops Shot at 52 People, Killing 11, in 2012

the other other charles ramseyTaraGiancaspro/Foter.comPhiladelphia’s police commissioner, Charles Ramsey, is reportedly asking the Department of Justice to review the use of deadly force by his officers. The news comes just weeks after Philly.com launched an “occasional series” examining police shootings with a story revealing Philadelphia police had shot at 52 people in 2012, killing 11, up from 35 police shootings in 2011. It amounts to 2.92 shootings per 1,000 incidents of violent crime, which Philly.com noted was lower than the shooting rate in Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas, Baltimore, and Chicago, all of whose police departments had been “put under increased state and federal scrutiny.”

Not so in Philadelphia, where the FBI nevertheless netted one narcotics officer in a corruption sting. That was apparently separate from an investigation into three other former narcotics officers (still with the force) who had their testimonies in hundreds of cases declared tainted by the District Attorney late last year. Despite this, according to Philly.com, neither the DA’s office nor the Internal Affairs expressed any known concern about any of the 52 shootings last year.

The police commissioner, who’s been in charge in Philadelphia since 2008, now claims his office has been pondering the situation since last year. From Philly.com:

"When you have as many as we've had, it gets people wondering if they were all justified," Ramsey said. "We've been looking at this issue since December. The Civil Rights Division of the DOJ knows and agrees this is a good course of action."

The Justice Department's review, to be funded by the federal Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), will include an analysis of policies, procedures, training and tactics. It will begin in mid-July.

Calling on the Justice Department is not a first for Ramsey. As chief of the Washington D.C. police, he requested a similar inquiry.

Last year, the president of Philadelphia’s police union fired off a letter to the Police Advisory Commission, a kind of civilian review board, accusing them of being a public security threat that “should no longer be tolerated” by the city and its government.  In response to news of the request to the DOJ, John McNesby, the union president, said that in the best case scenario the federal review would find the department "outgunned, undermanned, and under-equipped.”

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  • Sevo||

    "Cops Shot at 52 People, Killing 11, in 2012"
    So they can't shoot, either?

  • A Serious Man||

    Only Imperial storm troopers are that precise.

  • michaeljames101||

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  • Tman||

    Ahh Philly. The city that literally bombed itself.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com.....bing_x.htm

  • A Serious Man||

    Last year, the president of Philadelphia’s police union fired off a letter to the Police Advisory Commission, a kind of civilian review board, accusing them of being a public security threat that “should no longer be tolerated” by the city and its government.

    Um, shouldn't statements like these unambiguously expose the thuggery of police unions?

  • sarcasmic||

    When you consider that to them "the public" means "we who represent the public" as opposed to the actual people who comprise the public, then it is an accurate statement.

  • Spoonman.||

    Thuggery is expected and unsurprising from unions in Philadelphia.

    The convention center lost a big pharmaceutical convention because they ban using electric screwdrivers - you have to pay a union man with a hand screwdriver to do it.

  • ||

    they ban using electric screwdrivers

    Is that a city ordinance? How many city councilors are elected under the Luddite Party banner?

  • Aresen||

    Next: Only hand-crafted screws may be used.

  • BakedPenguin||

    What the over/under on how long it takes until the FOP start trying to torpedo this?

  • ||

    I'd wager $10 they've already started.

  • ||

  • John Galt||

    Relax, Philly Police, Obama and Holder have your back.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Calling on the Justice Department is not a first for Ramsey. As chief of the Washington D.C. police, he requested a similar inquiry.

    Maybe cities should cut out the middleman and just hire Holder to head local po-po.

  • ||

    Philadelphia’s police commissioner, Charles Ramsey

    DEAD GIVEAWAY

  • The Late P Brooks||

    John McNesby, the union president, said that in the best case scenario the federal review would find the department "outgunned, undermanned, and under-equipped.”

    OFFICER SAFETY.

    I consider police unions to be a grave public menace. Let the beheadings commence.

  • Floridian||

    If you are out gunned and out manned should not the body count of police being shot be higher than the "civilians"? Anyone have the data of how many Philly cops have been shot in the same time frame?

  • Aresen||

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Anyone have the data of how many Philly cops have been shot in the same time frame?

    Here you go:

    First, the good news. The number of civilians firing at Philadelphia Police continued to decline in 2012. Last year three people shot at city officers and none of those targeted cops was injured, according to police records.

    For dogs:

    The Department of Internal Affairs found the number of animal incidents climbed slightly to 40 from last year’s 37, but the overall number shots only reached 85, a continued reduction from the departments 2007 high of 101.

    from here: http://www.philly.com/philly/n....._2012.html

  • Floridian||

    Thanks. Me thinks he doth exaggerate.

  • creech||

    Philadelphia is a one-party ruled city. The next mayoralty election is in 2015. Here's what the local magazine of record, Philadelphia Magazine June 2013, had to say: "The early lineup for the 2015 mayoral election is an insipid collection of City Council members, has-beens and legacy admits. Some are fundamentally unfit for the job. Most are ardent defenders of the status quo." One would think that someone would step forward to distinguish him/herself from the others by addressing the growing demand by the citizens to control the
    out-of-control police, unions, corrupt bureaucrats ruining what was
    once a fairly nice city to live in.

  • Aresen||

    One would think that someone would step forward to distinguish him/herself from the others by addressing the growing demand by the citizens to control the
    out-of-control police, unions, corrupt bureaucrats ruining what was
    once a fairly nice city to live in.

    "Stepping forward" in that way might lead to becoming # 53.

    Just sayin'

  • Sevo||

    "The early lineup for the 2015 mayoral election is an insipid collection of City Council members, has-beens and legacy admits. Some are fundamentally unfit for the job. Most are ardent defenders of the status quo."
    Oh, but for some similar honesty in the SF press!

  • John||

    Why does he need to feds? Isn't that what you have a DA office or an internal affairs division for? By asking for the feds he is admitting one or both of two things; that he is so at mercy to the police union he has effectively lost control of his force, or that he and his department are so incompetent they are unable to even understand let alone properly implement the most basic function of a police department, the lawful and proper use of force.

  • mr lizard||

    Obviously it shows he is not a team player

  • ||

    You know what this proves? How well our oversight system works.

    The commissioner sees a potential problem, and right away he jumps into action to get a solution.

    I'm very confident that this will be handled appropriately and either the right policy changes will be implemented and officers who did not live up to their oath will be fired, OR their brave actions will be shown to have been justified and they can get back to the business of protecting the streets of Philadelphia.

  • Erik Jay||

    "John McNesby, the union president, said that in the best case scenario the federal review would find the department 'outgunned, undermanned, and under-equipped.'”

    I'm going to find out how many armored cars, BARs, battering rams, copters, small arms, and other pieces of martial materiel are in the hands of the Philly police. And,mof course, they can call for backup from the county, state, and feds, so, you know, maybe, just maybe, that gripe is, you know, maybe, just maybe... complete and utter bullshit.

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