Police Abuse

Seven Dirty Philly Cops Could Cost City Millions, Six Suspended But Not Yet Fired


Six dirty Philly cops
Philadelphia PD

For his faults, Philadelphia's police commissioner, Charles Ramsey, has not avoided trying to fire problem cops. The problem is even though he's nominally in charge of the Philadelphia Police Department he doesn't have final say on employment decisions. Thus last week Ramsey lamented that he could not rid his force of Thomas Tolstoy, an alleged sexual predator, because neither a federal nor local investigation produced a prosecution.  "The odds are," said Ramsey, "I'm stuck with a guy who shouldn't be a cop." The statute of limitations on the allegations against Tolstoy expire later this year and he's likely to return to the streets of Philly as a cop—he's been drawing a paycheck without interruption despite three separate women accusing him of similar sexual assaults, including at least one who ended up in a hospital. Last summer a cop Ramsey fired after he was caught on tape punching a woman for no reason got his job back thanks to an arbitration hearing. Nevertheless, since 2008 Philadelphia has fired 146 police officers, 88 of whom were arrested, and 48 of whom have been convicted so far, on charges like murder, rape, and extortion.

Then there's the group of Philadelphia cops from a now defunct anti-narcotics group. Their misconduct has already forced the district attorney to throw away hundreds of drug-related cases because of tainted testimony. And they could cost city taxpayers millions due to lawsuits. Philly.com reports:

Seven Philadelphia police narcotics officers at the center of a federal corruption probe are also named in scores of civil lawsuits that add more claims of thievery, intimidation and brutality to those described in their criminal indictments, according to court records.

The potential financial impact of these suits, along with any others that may be filed, could expose the City of Philadelphia to millions of dollars in damages or settlements.

The Philadelphia Police Department's inability to respond effectively to misconduct, in large part due to the strength of the Fraternal Order of Police, has now exposed it taxpayers to potentially millions of dollars in liability for the actions of officers whose jobs were treated as rights. Only one of the seven officers is no longer with the department—he pleaded guilty to charges of corruption and turned state's evidence. The other six were "suspended with intent to dismiss." Ramsey can't just fire an officer, even if that officer and his colleagues are under federal investigation for serious crimes. It's a similar situation for Tolstoy. If the alleged sexual predator acts again and victimizes another woman, can the city claim it's not liable? It won't be as easy for them to get out of as it is for unions, which are rarely held liable for actions that keep problem cops on the street.

The idea that "due process" should apply to the employment status of government agents authorized to use violence against us is horrific.

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  1. Nevertheless, since 2008 Philadelphia has fired 146 police officers, 88 of whom were arrested, and 48 who have been convicted so far, on charges like murder, rape, and extortion.

    I’m guessing that’s a higher rate of violent crimes than you would see from the genpop. Could you track down the numbers? I’m thinking percentage of Philly cops convicted of violent crimes v. percentage of Philly people convicted of violent crimes.

    1. I like that. I’ll try.

      1. Given what we know about police policing themselves if the statistics are even kissing cousins it would be telling.

    2. That is the first thing that popped in my head also. Holy shit, that is a big number for just six years.

    3. I read some story (possibly here) about a crime-ridden town in Eastern Europe which fired it’s entire police department. Crime took a nose-dive shortly afterwards.

      1. You might be thinking of the country of Georgia. They fired the entire country’s traffic police force to combat corruption.

        That was something like 90% of all their officers.


    4. Wikipedia says PPD has 6,400 police. 146/6400 = 2.28%. 88 arrests / 6400 = 1.4% of the police force to be arrested (over this particular 6 year period). 48 convictions = 0.8%.

      Not sure how to find comparable arrest/conviction numbers for all of Philly. But, Philly population is 1.553 million. A similar conviction rate would = 11,650 convictions over the last 6 years. Or, 35,400 people being fired from their jobs for alleged criminal activity.

  2. What the hell could the arbitration process possibly include? Seriously, what leverage does a crooked cop have?

    1. He paid his (union) dues?

    2. Dirt on other crooked cops.

  3. The problem is even though he’s nominally in charge of the Philadelphia Police Department he doesn’t have final say on employment decisions.

    Responsibility without authority. Yeah, that usually doesn’t go too well.

    1. Authority without responsibility is the hallmark of the police union.

      You know that NYC (like some other places) has done away with the “have you ever been convicted of a felony” box on employment applications so that you can’t legally ask an applicant if he’s a criminal – but you can damn sure et you’ll be held liable if one of your employees commits a crime and it turns out you should have known somehow that he was a criminal. That’s how these cops seem to work – you can’t fire them but you can be held liable for not having fired them.

      1. I would love for some city to countersue its union after a case like this, assuming they actually did try to fire the cop and he was reinstated. I have no idea of the legal feasibility, but it would be entertaining to watch.

  4. That picture looks like the audition list for the 3 Stooges new Curly.

    Police work must not be very demanding.

    1. Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

    2. “Ooh, edgy…Thinking of having a black Curly*, eh?”

      *not a euphamism

      1. * not a euphamism

        This, coming from a guy named “Trouser-Pod”?

    3. I don’t get it. My job involves sitting at a desk all day. Under no circumstances are my physical capabilities needed for my job, and neither my life nor the life of others is dependent on my being physically fit. Yet I keep myself fit as a lifestyle choice. These fat fucks are supposed to be able to engage in a physical confrontation, chase after guys and their ability to do so will impact their safety and the safety of those they are sworn to protect, so naturally they are obese.

      1. At least they aren’t roid-raging freaks.

      2. Maybe that’s why they shoot so many people in unreasonable circumstances. They know they’d never be able to catch them if they had to run.

        1. Actually yes…an out of shape (or non-physically fit) police officers is more likely to use deadly force because it quickly becomes their only option.

          I read somewhere that 80% of American Police were Obese HOWEVER I would like to figure out how much of that is simply BMI (Body Mass Index) trickery.

          I’m morbidly obese according to the BMI because I’m 6’0 and 240lbs but it doesn’t take into account body mass.

          Still, it is undeniable that police officer physical fitness is one of the many areas of improvement we need to focus on.

  5. Their misconduct has already forced the district attorney to throw away hundreds of drug-related cases because of tainted testimony

    So it wasn’t all bad..

    1. And they could cost city taxpayers millions due to lawsuits

      On top of what the fuckers already spent making the cases. And though the cases were thrown out, the defendants still had their lives ruined and assets forfeited.

      Very thin silver lining.

      1. I’m actually curious how many people they just shot to death instead of arrest.

        I guarantee they didn’t just ruin lives for fun, they ended them as well.

  6. These stories, especially when accompanied by photos of the portly boys in blue, always push me toward the pig-chimpanzee-hybrid hypothesis.


  7. Jesus! So many punchable faces in one collage.

  8. Philadelphia’s Finest, Ladies and Gentlemen.

  9. many fat necks abound in that picture.

    1. 6 cops: 12 chins.

      1. +1 bunch of fat fuckers.

    2. More chins than the Philadelphia phone book.

  10. has not avoided trying to firing


    1. I reread that sentence about five times, finally said, “..wut,” and moved on.

  11. Dear Police: I’d hate to be you when this “us vs. them” shit comes to a head. Joe citizen and his twenty-million armed buddies aren’t going to give a fuck whether you were a good cop or a bad cop, because in the eyes of the citizenry, you’re all bad cops. You may not have shot the unarmed kid with the toy-gun 8 times, but you supported the guy who did. You may not have thrown the flash-bang into the crib of a baby, but you supported the guy who did. You may not have beat the homeless mentally-ill guy to death, but you supported the guys who did. You didn’t have the balls or common decency to stand up and say “I will not work with him” or “If he stays we go”. You didn’t arrest them for committing a crime that would have gotten any other citizen arrested. Your inaction is seen by the public as accepting and even condoning a lack of accountability. In the public’s eye, you hold yourselves to a lower standard, and the laws that apply to them, do not apply to you. In the eyes of the public, you consider yourselves to be a “higher class” of citizen, not subject to the same rules and laws as the rest of society. cont:

    1. You shoot our dogs, and it’s a three-day paid vacation for you. We yell at your dog, and it’s off to jail with us. And while we WANT to believe that you’re there to serve a higher case, that you’re there to help the helpless, more and more often it seems that your goal is the arbitrary enforcement of any law for the sole purpose of exerting control. We’re Americans. We don’t put up with police state bullshit. We’ll play along for awhile, but there’s a breaking point beyond which the average citizen will consider you more dangerous than the criminals. Hell, there’s a point where the average citizen will consider you to be the criminals. I’d hate to be you if and when we reach that point. “Us vs. Them” doesn’t work well with the odds you’ll be facing. Pro Tip: You want the citizens to be on the same side as you. It makes the whole “law and order” thing so much easier.

      1. *stands up and applauds vigorously*

        1. No, ’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door; but ’tis enough,’twill serve.

          Sorry! Couldn’t resist!

      2. Fairly well said.

      3. I know I’ve had my differences with Anon in the past, but I must say this is well-said.

        Bravo Anon.

        1. You beat me to it.

          1. I’m surprised there haven’t been more snipers in certain neighborhoods. If they really hate cops and have guns it wouldn’t be that hard to get revenge if you really wanted it. Not that I’m suggesting it mind you. Just sayin’.

      4. Well said. They don’t really want those military grade war machines to protect them from the local drug dealer. They want to know they have them when the citizenry finally has enough and demands a reckoning.

      5. I’m not the “bootlicker” you think I am. I know a LOT of cops, mostly Federal, and the vast majority of them are truly good people trying to effect positive change. Most of them also see the direction things are going in regards to public perception, and they understand the implications. The problem is that they need a paycheck just like everyone else, and “making waves” isn’t conducive to that. Quitting isn’t a solution because if all the good guys quit, you’re left with all the bad guys, both in and out of the organization.

        Part of the problem is that the people who head law enforcement agencies don’t actually have law enforcement experience. They are business managers or lawyers, trying to manage a bunch of overwhelmingly “Type A” personalities. Management is actually the one place where law enforcement agencies need to be militarized. There needs to be strict discipline and no-bullshit consequences for mistakes. There needs to be a UCMJ-like set of rules and laws that hold LEOs and their management to a higher standard. There HAS to be a chain of command with strict oversight, responsibility, and accountability. If an officer shoots the wrong person, him AND his Sergeant pay the consequences; him for fucking up, and his Sergeant for improper training and supervision. Until there is that level of accountability, nothing will change.

        1. I’ve seen that 2nd paragraph posted before, and my question would be how long do you think you’d last as a front line supervisor in any career field if your livelihood was dependent on 8-12 random people assigned to you without your choosing? Bank teller steals cash? Fire the manager. Dump truck driver rear ends someone? Fire the manager. You got a shitbag Marine assigned to your platoon and assaults a stripper? End the platoon sergeant’s career.

          Anyone who has ever worked any job knows that people are going to screw up no matter how good your intentions or workplace policies are. And by the way, yes, supervisors’ careers at PD’s do go sideways when their guys screw up and it can be shown that the supervisor should have done something different.

  12. I still contend that the union should be paying these settlements out of retirement funds. They’d clean up their own real quick.

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