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Excessive Force Suit Filed After Philadelphia Sheriff’s Deputies Tackled Pennsylvania Bar Association President

Pennsylvania Bar Association Pres Clifford Haines Assaulted by Philly Sheriffs Deputies

Clifford Haines, the former president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, has filed an excessive force lawsuit against the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Deputies that assaulted him in August of 2017.

The courthouse surveillance footage embedded below shows an incident from August (2017) at the Philadelphia Justice Center. But this was no ordinary game of dog pile by the deputies from the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office working the screening area of the court.

The senior citizen you see being pushed onto the scanner belt, then gang-tackled and thrown to the floor, is a former president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and (obviously) a pretty prominent Philadelphia lawyer.

As a result of their assault, Clifford Haines ended up with a fractured shoulder. He has now filed an excessive force lawsuit against the five Philly Sheriff’s Deputies involved. The sergeant on duty that day was also named in the lawsuit.

Via the American Bar Association Journal:

Clifford Haines, 72, claims “extraordinary misconduct” by the officers whose actions were “unprovoked, unjustified, and clearly excessive and abusive,” report Philly.com and the Legal Intelligencer.

A video of the incident shows Haines pointing his finger at an officer, then spreading his arms. The officer appears to slightly push Haines’ chest, and Haines moves his arm as if to deflect the officer’s hand. At that point four officers shove Haines onto the conveyor belt on the metal scanner, and a fifth officer joins in to push Haines off the machine and onto the ground.

The incident occurred in August at the Philadelphia Justice Center. Haines was arrested, but prosecutors declined to file charges after reviewing the video.

The suit says Haines had to enter the courthouse through the general screening area because he had forgotten his bar card. Haines realized that he had forgotten to turn off his cellphone, which had been locked in a pouch during the screening process. When he tried to return to the front of the building to turn off the phone, a deputy “rudely” ordered him to leave through a different area, the suit says.

Haines said he complied, but reprimanded the deputy when he returned to the screening area. When the officer shoved him, Haines says, he repeated his reprimand. He was tackled after that, the suit says.

Haines claims he remained handcuffed for an hour even though he told deputies he was in pain from his shoulder injuries.

The suit claims assault and battery, false arrest and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The suit names as defendants five unidentified deputies and an unidentified sergeant.

This case is actually interesting when you read the description. Basically, what it boils down to is Haines was offended because one of the deputies didn’t respect his authoritah and, since he didn’t have his bar card on him he had to jump through all the same hoops that the commoners do.

So he decided to “reprimand” that deputy, who didn’t appreciate his own authoritah not being respected. It was a pretty quick progression from pissing match to rasslin’ match after that. Then the final lesson for the viewers at home is that the Piggies don’t play fair. Of course, the other thing the cops do once their gang is done dropping you on your head is lie about it and try to lock you in a cage, too.

So that’s why I very much agree with his lawyer’s assessment of the real message of this video (same source as previous):

Haines’ lawyer, Patricia Pierce, said the case shows why members of the public don’t trust law enforcement. “You have to ask yourself: If this can happen to this man in front of cameras, how is anybody else supposed to feel safe?” she told Philly.com.

Really, it should be surprising that people sworn to “protect and serve” the public would escalate a conflict, beat an elderly man, and then attempt to charge him with a crime knowing that they were on camera the whole time. Beyond the social and political stature of their target, it really isn’t at all, though. That’s kinda how that “reprimanding” thing tends to turn out for us commoners more often than not.

Welcome to the club, Mr. Haines.

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Muhammad Ali Jr. Detained Again at the Airport After Speaking to Congress About First Incident

Yesterday, on the way home from a trip to Washington DC to testify about his first incident of being detained for having a Muslim name, Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained once again. This time the son of the former boxing champ known as “the Greatest” may have been more than just religiously profiled, according to his lawyer.

Family attorney Chris Mancini has since suggested that the stop was an act of retaliation for having spoken at a Democrat-organized Congressional forum on immigration. Ali had criticized Trump’s Muslim travel ban and attributed his first detention last month in the Fort Lauderdale airport to both racial and religious profiling.

Meanwhile, the TSA maintains that Ali’s jewelry set off an alarm prompting the extra profiling.

Via ABC News:

Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained and questioned at a Washington airport before being allowed to board a flight to Fort Lauderdale after meeting with lawmakers to discuss a separate airport detention incident last month, a lawyer for the late heavyweight champion’s son said Friday.

Ali and his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, were stopped at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after returning from Jamaica on Feb. 7. They traveled to Washington on Wednesday without incident to speak to members of a congressional subcommittee on border security about that experience.

But attorney Chris Mancini said that when Ali attempted to board a JetBlue Airways flight home to Florida on Friday he was detained for 20 minutes. Mancini said Ali spoke to Department of Homeland Security officials by telephone and showed his driver’s license and passport before he was allowed to board.

“None of this was happening Wednesday,” Mancini said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon as he was traveling with the Alis. “Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS.”

A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration acknowledged the agency confirmed Ali’s identity before he boarded his plane.

Spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said Ali also was patted down because his jewelry set off a checkpoint scanner alarm.

Muhammad Ali Jr. Illegally Detained at Florida Airport on Suspicion of Being A Muslim

Earlier this month, Muhammad Ali Jr. was illegally detained and subjected to hours of questioning because they (correctly) suspected that he was a Muslim, based on his name. Ali Jr.’s namesake was, of course, probably the most famous athlete ever and one of the most well know people, in general. In addition to his success as a boxer, Muhammad Ali Sr. was known for his conversion to Islam after winning the heavyweight title, as well as his long history of civil and human rights (which really shouldn’t be two things) activism.

In spite of the fact that Ali Jr. is a citizen; having been born in Philadelphia; was traveling under a legal US passport, and has no criminal record, he and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, were detained for having Muslim sounding names. Camacho-Ali was fortunate enough to have a photo of her and her late ex-husband on her, so she was released. However, Ali Jr. was not so lucky and had to undergo additional questioning in which they grilled him about “where he got his name” and what his religion was. When he acknowledged being Muslim he was then subjected to further questioning. – For the record, it’s actually not (at this point) illegal to be a Muslim.

Via TheGuardian.com:

The 7 February incident was the first time the family had been detained or questioned in this way, despite regular international travel, (family lawyer Chris) Mancini said.

They consider it religious profiling linked to President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to bring in a “Muslim ban” and his now-suspended executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

“To the Ali family, it’s crystal clear that this is directly linked to Mr Trump’s efforts to ban Muslims from the United States,” Mancini said, adding that they were trying to find out how many others faced similar questioning, and were contemplating filing a federal lawsuit.

“Imagine walking into an airport and being asked about your religion,” Mancini told the paper. “This is classic customs profiling.”

Ali’s is the latest in a string of complaints about US immigration controls after the inauguration of Trump.

The former prime minister of Norway was held for nearly an hour at Washington Dulles airport earlier this month and questioned over a visit to Iran three years ago, which he had made to speak at a human rights conference.

Meanwhile, the best-selling Australian children’s book author Mem Fox has suggested she might never return to the US after she was detained and insulted by border control agents at Los Angeles international airport. The 70-year-old said she was left “sobbing like a baby” after two hours of questioning while on her way to a conference.

A British Muslim schoolteacher travelling to New York last week as a member of a school party from south Wales was denied entry to the US. The foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, had previously claimed the US government had committed to allowing all UK passport holders to enter the country.

It’s a bit ironic that the son of Muhammad Ali would be profiled as a “dangerous Muslim” (in spite of any evidence of ill intent whatsoever) to say the least. Ali Sr.’s refusal to serve in the Vietnam War and subsequent arrest and exile from boxing is one of his most celebrated and recognized acts. It also shows that the government’s travel ban, which isn’t even legally valid since it was struck down in court can be used to single out and illegally detain anyone that TSA agents decide they want to, regardless of their actual immigration status or criminal history.

Bad Apples Don’t Fall Far From the Tree: Jerry Sandusky’s Son, Jeffrey, Arrested on Child Sex Charges

Jeffrey Sandusky has been arrested on 14 charges relating to attempted child sex abuse. He is currently being held on $200,000 bail at a Pennsylvania jail. Sandusky has also been suspended (without pay) from his job as a corrections officer at Rockview State Prison, located near State College, PA.

The Sandusky name is, of course, better known for Jeffrey’s infamous father. Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is currently in prison after having been convicted on 45 counts of child molestation in 2012.

The charges against Jeffrey Sandusky involve two underage daughters of a girlfriend he was living with at the time. Sandusky was implicated in text messages in which he solicited nude photos and oral sex from a girl who was 15 years old at the time and assured her “it’s not weird because he studied medicine.”In addition, the girl testified that Sandusky had spied on her while she was showering through a crack in the door.

He also reportedly asked the girl’s older sister for nude photos back in 2013, when she was 16 years old. His excuse for wanting the nude photos was because the girls already had nude photos on the internet and he needed more of them in order to remove them. Another bad cover story was that he needed them for “role playing.”

Via Radar Online:

The pervert solicited the young girls for raunchy photos while their mother slept or was away from the residence, according the criminal report filed against him. Sandusky lived with the girls for five years before he was kicked out of the home in November, and was arrested at his mother Dottie’s home on February 13.

His disturbing alleged abuse was only reported to the state police after his ex’s youngest daughter sent screenshots of his messages to her father just before Thanksgiving.

When questioned, she told police that he asked her for photos while she was getting ready for school in the morning and that he asked her to “erase all the texts” so that “none of this ‘s*t’ gets mentioned to anyone or seen by anyone.” He then allegedly asked her for more photos in different scenarios, which she declined to send.

He responded that they should talk, to which she retorted: “we don’t need to talk and we aren’t going to. You did what you did and I’m not going to give you a chance to try and justify it. You literally tried to guilt me into doing it and you even told me specifically what I ‘needed’ to do. You know who does that? Rapists and abusers, not [redacted] who care about their [redacted]. I don’t know how many times I need to tell you no and stop before you get it.”

The victim claimed she only received disturbing texts from him once, and that he told her lewd photos of herself already existed online. She “knew his talk was bulls**t,” and acknowledged that he “shouldn’t be asking stuff like that.”

The victim’s mother also told police that Sandusky “advised her that he was trying to help her [redacted] by getting [redacted] off the Internet and needed [redacted] to do it and to ‘role play.’” Similarly, she denied any photos existed.

Then, the victim reported that, “recently, while she was in the shower, she could hear Jeffrey Sandusky walking down the hallway and heard footsteps stop as if someone [was] looking into the bathroom. [She] advised that there is a crack near the door and you can see into the bathroom if you are trying to look into it.”

She claimed she did not report the incident to her mom because Sandusky “makes [her] mother happy,” but she did report the abuse to her older sister. Her sister then came forward with her own allegations dating back to 2013.

“Victim #2 then advised [redacted] victim #1 that he had done the same type of thing several years back to [redacted] when he asked [redacted],” the complaint read. “Victim #1 advised that [redacted] was told by Jeffrey that he would never do this again and promised not to do anything like this to [redacted].”

It’s Officially Within Philadelphia Police Department Policy to be a Nazi

Earlier this week, an internal affairs “investigation” determined that an officer had not violated Philadelphia Police Department policy by having a Nazi tattoo on his arm. Officer Ian Hans Lichterman had been photographed in July during the Democratic National Convention openly displaying the tattoo of a Nazi era eagle with “Fatherland” written above it.

Not surprisingly, that caused a bit of a controversy. People aren’t really used to cops just coming right out and openly acknowledging their allegiance to Nazism and/or membership in the KKK. They generally try to keep that shit on the downlow. Of course, in keeping with that tradition, the Philadelphia Police Internal Affairs Bureau didn’t just announce that it’s okay to openly be a Nazi. Instead, they based their endorsement of Officer Lichterman’s tattoo on the fact that the department didn’t have any policy specifically addressing tattoos.

Via the Philly Voice:

The Internal Affairs investigation cleared Lichterman of any violations, closing the case in December, police said. They did not respond to follow-up questions inquiring whether any specific determinations were made about the tattoos.

Meanwhile, nearly five months after the controversy erupted, police brass have yet to deliver a promised tattoo policy for its ranks.

Photos of the tattoos, posted to Facebook by Evan Parish Matthews, showed a German eagle beneath the word “Fatherland” on Lichterman’s left arm. The post indicated the photos were taken on July 26, 2016 at Philadelphia’s #BlackResistanceMarch during the Democratic National Convention.

The eagle appears to resemble one depicted in the Nazi Party’s partieadler emblem, a symbol included in the Anti-Defamation League’s “Hate Symbols Database.”

That symbol features an eagle with outstretched wings, its head pointed left, and holding a wreath containing a swastika. The photos of Lichterman’s tattoos did not show whether his eagle was perched on a swastika.

Mayor Jim Kenney, who previously called the tattoos “disturbing” and “incredibly offensive,” released a statement that voiced the same reaction. But without an existing tattoo policy,  Kenney said police could not dismiss Lichterman.

Of course, you could make a really shitty argument (that nobody on this planet actually believes) that having a Nazi tattoo isn’t an indicator that you would act with bias when performing your job as a cop. You could even go into total denial and claim that a Nazi tattoo doesn’t mean you’re racist or a member of Neo-Nazi hate groups. Or you could also try for the low hanging fruit and claim that the eagle is just a traditional symbol of his heritage (you’re actually not really even trying at this point), even though the traditional German eagle looks nothing like the one used for Nazi era symbols.

All those ridiculous arguments would be exposed as nonsense though, if that same police officer with the Nazi tattoo had already previously been exposed as a member of racist skinhead groups, and someone who liked to dress up as an actual Nazi in his off time, though.

During a series of hacks against Neo-Nazi websites that took place between 2010 and 2012, emails and other identifying information belonging to members were leaked. By some amazing coincidence, an email address belonging to Officer Lichterman and an address matching the house he lives in with his wife (who is also a Philadelphia police officer), along with some photos of him in full Nazi uniform while taking part in war re-enactments, just happened to be included in those leaks:

…during a period from 2010-2012 there were several successful hacks of Neo-Nazi websites that led to the identification of dozens of Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists.

One of the more interesting cases was that of Ian Hans Lichterman. Lichterman was listed as a member of Blood and Honour, an international network of Neo-Nazi organizations started by Ian Stuart Donaldson, the lead singer of Skrewdriver. Upon some investigating, it was discovered that Lichterman was also a Philly PD officer who had even recently been commended at a crime stoppers awards ceremony. The e-mailed listed alongside his name with the leak, [email protected], seemed to refer to Lichterman’s badge number, 3155. The address that was also leaked with the name and e-mail is owned by Lichterman and his wife, fellow Philly PD officer Susan Bevidas.

Shortly after the hack, Lichterman appeared to leave the Philly PD and to be working as a private security contractor (mercenary) in the middle east, presumably using his connections from his time as a Marine. However, members of the media have noted that during this time Lichterman was still on Philly PD payrolls. So either the move was a ruse because people had been calling Philly PD asking about him and his affiliations… or he was kept on the books while working abroad for some reason. Recently, at the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice’s march during the DNC, someone noticed that one of the bike cops working the event had some shady tattoos. That cop has been identified as Ian Lichterman, back on duty in Philly.

So yeah, not only has the Philadelphia Police Department known they had an openly Nazi police officer among their ranks for years, they seem to be pretty okay with that.

Ellwood City Police Officer Files Disgusting, False Charge to Cover Up Hazardous Jail Conditions

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Natalie Jacoby, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

Date of Incident: February 20, 2016
Officer Involved: Officer Matthew Kennedy – badge no. 5823
Department Involved: Ellwood City (PA) Police Department
Department Address: 525 Lawrence Ave., Ellwood City, PA. 16117

On Feb. 20, 2016, I was arrested for a public drunkenness in the back parking lot at Breakers Bar in Ellport, Pa, of which I am guilty. At the time of my arrest Officer Matthew Kennedy was extremely rude and forceful in cuffing me as the picture shows. I do also have more photos of other bruises and scratches left on my arms and legs by this officer.

That Monday the 22nd, my mother and I went to the magistrate so I could pay this charge off in full. To our surprise, a later charge was added stating that I had urinated and defecated in the cell I was being kept in. We were appalled to learn of this later charge. A few days later, about two months before I even had my hearing, I was sent a bill for $369.08 from the Borough of Ellwood City Public Works Supervisor Randy Gatto for the clean up of this cell!

When I was in the cell I had to beg for about 30 minutes for water and toilet paper. When this was brought to me I went to use the toilet when I noticed the disgusting condition of the area. There was old caked on urine and feces covering the toilet and the floor surrounding the toilet. Now, I’m sure it would be obvious to us all what old caked on waste looks like as opposed to something that was supposedly just done. I WAS going to urinate in the styrofoam cup the water was brought to me in and then dump it into the toilet because I refused to touch that toilet. However, I could not urinate so I tossed the cup aside.

Believe me, I know how bad this must have looked. I took the toilet paper I had pulled from the roll and used it to cover the toilet area so I would not have to look at this filth. The entire night I was in the cell I loudly complained about the old urine and feces covering the area. I did become vulgar about the incident when I was in the cell stating that “someone could seriously gets sick from this shit, you need to clean this shit up, someone is going to get Hepatitis from this!” I did request to at least be put in a clean cell-no answer.

Upon my release a different officer was working. This officer was also extremely rude. He asked me “what did you do piss all over the place?!” I found this absolutely insulting and told him I did not but judging by the state of that cell maybe I should have. And that if he didn’t believe me to check the tape as I was being recorded the entire time I was there. I asked if I could use a phone to call my mom to pick me up and I was told to “get the hell out of here. We don’t even have to let you go!”

My address is in Ellwood City, however I do not live in town. I live on the Ellwood/Fombell line a few miles away and would have had to walk down a very busy four lane highway to get home. I stopped at a gas station in town and was able to use their phone. When my mom picked me up on the side of the road, I immediately started to tell her what happened and showed her the black, sticky filth and grime all over me. When I got home I washed my hands twice and took a shower.

I did file a police complaint form and a 7 1/2 page report of what happened that night, this information was sent certified with return receipts to the mayor of Ellwood City, Anthony Court, the Magistrate Jerry Cartwright Jr. and the chief of police, William Betz. None of this did me any good.

I am on SSI because of my bipolar, so I unfortunately could not afford an attorney, I did contact two different Family Legal Services and public defenders offices and was advised against getting an attorney even if I could afford one. They told me it would be difficult to find someone that would take this case because it was my word against a police officer’s and because “they work with these officers on a daily basis.”

The day of my hearing came, April 4, 2016. In court, Officer Kennedy entered as evidence to the judge the police complaint form I had filled out against him. As I already stated the judge was also sent one of these in the letters I had previously mailed certified. Judge Cartwright thought this police complaint report was something they had written up against me. He did not even know what it was. This tells me either he did not read the information I had sent or more likely he was not taking this false charge seriously.

Officer Kennedy brought with him another officer who was there that night, Officer Disher, as a witness. There were times during this hearing when Kennedy again blatantly lied and where these officers contradicted each other . Kennedy stated when I supposedly urinated on the floor I was standing on the bed. Disher stated that I was between the bed and the toilet. When Officer Disher was asked if he would like to specifically describe what happened in his own words he replied “no I just agree with what he said”, referring to Kennedy.

We all know that if I had had a witness and they would have replied that way their testimony would have been immediately thrown out. Judge Cartwright asked me “why would a highly trained police officer lie?” At the time, I was not sure how to respond to this. I cannot answer for someone else. However, after thinking about this question I know why he lied. He lied for the same reason any person lies…to protect himself. Either that disgusting mess came from me or it was there before I was put in that cell.

I feel like this officer may have felt stuck. Either he press a false charge and blame me or the Ellwood City Police Dept. would be in quite a bit of trouble for allowing their cells to remain covered in peoples waste. Kennedy stated in court that he was worried about my safety and that was why I was arrested, however at the time of my arrest he refused to answer me when I asked why I was being arrested. Also, if he really was concerned for my safety, I would have been able to use a phone upon my release to get a ride home and I never would have been locked in a cell covered in filth and waste.

So now I am stuck paying on fines for over $600 for something I would never do. I have also been back in therapy because of all the emotional distress this officer has caused me. I have also learned of other people, including one girl who is a friend of my sisters, who were locked up right after I was and they have also said those cells are disgusting, covered in other people’s waste! This entire experience changed me and unfortunately I have become extremely angry and bitter towards the police since then. Obviously when you do not have a badge your words do not matter.

– Natalie Jacoby

Update: Philadelphia Cop Who Robbed Contractor of $38 Given Plea Deal; Sentenced to Probation

Last June, I posted on the Copblock Network about Philadelphia Police Officer Michael Winkler, who was facing charges after he robbed a construction contractor that he had hired. At the time, the details were a little sparse, but the basics of the case were that Winkler had “lured” two workers to the location of the robbery with promises of pizza and additional money. Then, once they were there he had assaulted them and stolen all of the cash they had on them at the time. It was also reported that he had stiffed them on money for previous work.

For the most part that’s still an accurate run down of the situation. However, during his trial, some additional details came out. Apparently, he had (according to his victims) misrepresented the amount of work that needed to be done on a new house he had recently purchased and then hired them to work on. As a result, the main victim, Nathaniel Carter, had called him to try and renegotiate the deal.

Officer Winkler didn’t like the sudden proposal for change of terms. So, he assaulted Carter, knocked him to the ground, demanded he pay him back the original $600 he had paid him, and then rifled through his pockets taking all the cash he had on him. As originally reported, that amounted to $38. (Sorta reminiscent of LVMPD Detective Michael Kitchen’s situation a couple years back.)

Things went a little further than that, though. Winkler also took Carter’s wallet, grabbed his debit card from it, illegally searched his car, and insisted that he was going to have one of the other workers at the job site go to an ATM and retrieve the rest of the money he had paid him. Then, Winkler called 911 and asked for some local cops to come and arrest Carter for “scamming” him. Of course, since he was on-duty and driving an undercover police car the whole time, he also called his supervisor and asked to be placed on vacation status.

Via LevitTownNow.com:

Upon arrival, two officers found two contractors, one seated in a Nissan Maxima and one on the ground nearby with change around him.

The two contractors told police they were hired by Winkler on May 3 to do work on his newly purchased home on Newportville Road. One of the contractors began the work for $600 cash and soon realized there was more work than initially agreed upon.

Before police arrived on May 5, Winkler allegedly called the contractor found by officers seated on the ground near the Maxima and requested he return to the Newportville Road home to renegotiate the price of the work. Winker then became angry with the man once he arrived and held his forearm to his neck, forced him to the ground and put his knee into his side. Winkler then told him he had to give him his money back, according to court papers.

The contractor told Winkler he put the money on his bank card. Winkler then demanded the contractor’s bank card and threatened to send him to jail if he didn’t turn the card over, police allege.

While holding down the contractor, Winkler allegedly said he was going to have a worker remove the money from the man’s account and then proceeded to go through the man’s pockets despite requests to call 9-1-1, court papers state.

The other contractor was seated in the Maxima during the incident and was confronted when Winkler went over to search the glove box of the car and had a construction manager search the vehicle’s trunk, police said.

Winkler then picked up a wallet from the car and removed the cash and the owner’s driver’s license. He then called his police supervisor and asked to be put on vacation status before dialing Bucks County 9-1-1, police said.

Philadelphia authorities said in a statement to LevittownNow.com that Winkler is accused of taking $38 during the robbery.

(Bristol Township Detective Greg) Beidler, who has worked in the Bristol Township Police Department for 27 years, wrote in the affidavit that Winkler told responding officers he was an on-duty police officer and wanted one of the contractors arrested for theft of services and fraud.

Police said Winkler, a 16-year Philadelphia police veteran assigned to the 16th District, drove a blue 2001 Ford Taurus detective car to his Newportville Road home for the alleged robbery.

Unfortunately for Officer Winkler, things didn’t quite unfold the way he had (presumably) expected once Bristol Township Police arrived. Instead, Winkler ended up being arrested himself and was charged with two counts of felony robbery and two misdemeanor counts of theft, theft by extortion, receiving stolen property, false imprisonment and several other related offenses. As noted earlier, he still managed to get his Policeman’s Discount and ended up being sentenced to five years probation after pleading guilty to just one count of theft and three counts of disorderly conduct in a Bucks County Court.

That of course, eliminates those pesky felonies he had been facing originally. It’s not really addressed in the Philly.com article, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that he’ll also probably have to wait until the probation ends before he can go and get hired back as a cop at another department.

Philadelphia Taxpayers Forced to Pay $4.4 Million to Innocent Delivery Man Undercover Cops Ambushed

Last week, the Philadelphia Police Department agreed to the largest settlement in the history of the city to pay off an innocent man that two undercover cops shot at fourteen times. In April of 2014, Philippe Holland was delivering food when Officers Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey ran at him without ever identifying themselves as police officers.

Holland, having no reason to know they were cops and seeing that one of them was holding a gun, believed he was being robbed and tried to escape in his car. In spite of it specifically being against policy to do so, Farrell and Hanvey used the excuse that they “feared for their lives” from the car being used as a weapon to open fire on Holland. As a result, Holland, who was twenty years old at the time, now suffers from a permanent seizure disorder and still has bullet fragments lodged in his brain.

In spite of witness statements that contradict the two officers’ story, the district attorney (not at all surprisingly) declined to press any charges against them. Instead, they’ve been given a paid vacation for the past two years, while the slap on the wrist they will eventually receive from the department remains “pending.”

Via Philly.com:

It is the largest settlement in a police shooting case in the city’s history, according to Philadelphia Law Department records.

Then-Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said shortly after the shooting that Officers Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey had fired at the wrong man.

On Friday, the mayor’s office called the shooting “an unfortunate, regrettable series of events.”

“We will strive to ensure that tragedies such as this do not happen again in our city,” City Solicitor Sozi Pedro Tulante said in the statement.

Philippe Holland was delivering a cheeseburger to a house on the 5100 block of Willows Avenue in West Philadelphia on April 22, 2014, as police responded to reports of gunshots nearby.

In a deposition, he said he saw Farrell and Hanvey approaching him and thought he was about to get robbed. He slipped into his car through the passenger door, he said – and that’s when one officer shined a light into the car and Holland saw a gun in the other’s hand.

He told police that Farrell and Hanvey never identified themselves as police officers. He said that he panicked and tried to pull out of his parking spot – and that the two men opened fire on him, hitting him in the head and body.

At the time, it was against police regulations for officers to fire at a moving vehicle unless someone inside the car was threatening them or someone else with some form of deadly force other than the vehicle itself.

Hanvey and Farrell told investigators they approached Holland because they saw him walking past a Chinese restaurant on 51st Street and asked a witness on the street where the gunshots she’d heard had come from. They said the woman had pointed toward Holland and said the shots came from where he was walking.

But the woman later told police investigators she had only pointed toward the Chinese restaurant, and didn’t mention a man at all.

Hanvey and Farrell insisted that they told Holland they were police and that he drove his car toward them, making them fear for their lives.

Holland, a student at Delaware County Community College, was left with a permanent seizure disorder and has bullet fragments in his brain, according to his attorney, Tom Kline, who announced the settlement Friday.

The District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges in the case. According to police documents Kline provided to the Inquirer and the Daily News, the department’s Use of Force Review Board concluded that Farrell and Hanvey had violated department policy, though the board did not specify a punishment for that violation.

A police spokesman said that the two have been on administrative duty since the shooting, and that “discipline is still pending.”

The department could not say whether the officers will return to the street.

At least the taxpayers of Philadelphia get to pay for this “unfortunate, regrettable series of events,” while the two officers actually responsible for it have had plenty of time to sit home getting paid to think about what they did. That certainly should ensure that “tragedies such as this do not happen again” in their city.

Video Shows Pennsylvania Police Officer Punching, Choking, and Tazing Inmate Shackled to Bench

Surveillance video from a police station just outside of Pittsburgh, in Allegheny County, PA., shows a police officer assault a man in custody after they engage in a verbal dispute over his refusal to sit down. Elizabeth Borough Police Officer Garrett Kimmell can be seen attempting to choke inmate Joshua Brooks, then starting to punch him when Brooks rebuffs that attempt.

Brooks, who has one arm in a cast, initially fights back, although his ability to do so is restricted by the fact one of his ankles is shackled to a bench. He can then be seen raising his arms in an apparent attempt to show he doesn’t intend to resist. However, Kimmell continues hitting him and then places him in a frontal choke hold.

Soon after, Brooks resumes fighting back and begins overpowering Kimmell before another cop arrives and assists in restraining him. At that point, while the other officer is holding brooks, Kimmell begins using his tazer on him, shocking him several times. The video then ends.

As a result of the video, charges of resisting arrest and aggravated assault on an officer were dropped and Brooks has since filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. The incident happened in 2015, but the video was not released by Brooks’ lawyer, Todd Hollis, until this week when those charges were dropped.

Via WPXI.com:

A Pittsburgh attorney released a video Wednesday as part of a federal civil-rights lawsuit alleging excessive use of force by Elizabeth Borough police.

The lawsuit, which names two officers, alleges the video is just one example of a larger problem with the Police Department. It claims this isn’t an isolated incident.

Channel 11 News could not find any other examples of lawsuits filed against Elizabeth Borough police for brutality involving black victims. However, the lawsuit states the alleged incident “is one of many encounters in which young African-American men who are taken into custody by borough police officers who become the victims of police brutality…”

Joshua Brooks, 21, was arrested April 17, 2015, on suspicion of heroin possession. Hollis said Brooks, whose left arm was in a cast, was shackled to a bench.

Hollis said in the video, Brooks stands up from the bench and refuses to sit down. Police Officer Garrett Kimmell then hits Brooks multiple times and Brooks fights back in an effort to restrain Kimmell, Hollis explained.

A second officer eventually appears and assists with subduing Brooks, and Kimmell is seen firing a stun gun, Hollis said.

“The acts that happened on that particular day don’t denote honor, and I think it brings dishonor to all the great police officers in our city and the country,” Hollis said.

The lawsuit states that after Brooks’ arrest, additional charges were filed, including resisting arrest and aggravated assault on an officer. Hollis said the charges were dropped after the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office saw the surveillance video.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses Kimmell of excessive force and accuses the second officer of failure to intervene.

“Sometimes, what you do in the dark comes to light, and I think this is one of those instances,” Hollis said.

Philadelphia Police “Reviewing Tactics” of Cop Seen Slamming, Punching Teen Girl on Video

Several videos (embedded above and below) posted online showed an incident that occurred on Monday, during which a female Philadelphia police officer can be seen grabbing a sixteen year old girl, slamming her to the ground, and then, after straddling her chest, throwing numerous punches at her face.

The unnamed officer was part of a group of police officers that showed up to break up a large fight that apparently involved members of two families. Johnnae Pendleton, the girl seen being hit in the video, has since stated that she was trying to defend her mother just prior to being pushed away by one officer and then confronted by the officer who eventually assaulted her.

Although, Pendelton appears to be arguing with the first officer, the second officer (who punched her) acts aggressively toward her from the time that she initially approaches Pendelton from behind and pulls her around. While seemingly yelling at her to leave, she also repeatedly points her fingers into the teen’s face, appearing to make physical contact several times, at least. According to witnesses, Pederson was responding by telling her not to touch her.

Shortly after, the officer can be seen grabbing Pederson and spinning her around before throwing her to the ground. She then follows up by sitting on top of her chest and repeatedly punching at her head and face as Pederson attempts to block those punches. At some point, the officer also pulls out a telescoping baton. After several bystanders move close and yell for her to get off Pederson, at least two other cops, who are also holding batons, intercede before the video ends.

Via 6ABC.com (in Philadelphia):

The Internal Affairs Unit is now investigating an incident caught on video involving a 12th District Philadelphia police officer and a teenager.

All charges against 16-year-old Johnnae Pendleton, the girl seen in cell phone video, were dropped Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s just an ugly situation from start to finish,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross. “There’s no denying that.”

The melee was captured on cell phone video in Southwest Philadelphia on 54th near Springfield Monday afternoon.

Police arrived to find a large group of teens fighting in the street.

In the video, a 12th District officer and a teen, later identified as Pendleton, separate from the group.

Action News spoke with Pendleton Tuesday about what happened from her perspective.

Pendleton contends she was trying to help her friend’s mother, who was being detained by police, when the officer started pushing her back.

“It went from there. She was dragging me by my hair, banging my head on the ground, on the car, punching me, sat on top of me and was punching me in my face,” Pendleton said.

Caliph Douglass captured the cell phone video.

He said he found what he was witnessing “confusing” because he also thought the Pendleton was trying to back away.

“The girl was saying ‘Don’t touch me. You don’t got to touch me.’ Then, the next thing you know she just swung the little girl to the ground and started punching her,” Douglass said.

Commissioner Ross says Pendleton was refusing the officer’s commands, and the officer reported that the teen knocked her glasses off her face.

“One of the things that did not get captured on the video that the young lady admitted to in her interview is that she actually smacked the officer in the face, knocking her glasses off her face,” Ross told Action News.

The teen told police she wasn’t hurt at all, and the 12th District officer, with several years on the job, had minor bruising to her eye.

The officer’s tactics are now under review by Internal Affairs.

“When I say tactics, it’s a possibility, before they hit the ground, that something could’ve been done a little differently. That’s not a legal thing as much as it is a tactical thing, but it’s a decision that gets made in a split second,” Ross said.

Pendleton was initially charged with assault on a police officer.

The district attorney declined to move forward with those charges and Pendleton was released from custody.

“I am happy that it was caught on video because if it wasn’t, I would have been charged and I would’ve been in a youth study center or something,” Pendleton said.

A source tells Action News the video and witness statements seem to indicate that Pendleton never intentionally tried to harm the officer.

“Both parties told the truth,” said Ross. “There’s not a whole lot of discrepancy between the two stories. It just doesn’t happen that often like that.”

Ross said the officer will remain off the street while the Internal Affairs investigation into the matter continues.

So, it’s interesting that, even though the “investigation” is still going on, Commissioner Ross has already announced that it’s “not a legal thing,” but rather a matter of tactics. Probably, one of the tactics that someone should avoid when they are trying to break up a fight would be to not act aggressively and escalate a confrontation.

Not physically pushing and jabbing your fingers at someone would be another questionable tactical consideration. Maybe, repeatedly punching someone when they are already on the ground and under your control would be another strategic “faux pas” that should be avoided.

Of course, if you’re a cop and you know there’s little to no chance you’ll suffer any sort of meaningful consequences for your actions, you probably don’t have to quibble over “tactics.”

Interview of Teen Seen Being Punched:

Video Posted to Instagram:

Longer Video That Shows Part of Initial Fight: