High Approval for the Philadelphia Police Department?
Some police departments are more famous — or infamous — than others. We frequently hear about Rodney King, the 1992 L.A. Riots, and the (now de-clawed) Stop-and-Frisk program in New York City. The LAPD and NYPD are typical targets for accusations of corruption and brutality — but despite patrolling a metropolitan area of well over a million residents, the Philadelphia PD is seldom mentioned in the news by comparison. Our criminal defense lawyers interact with Philadelphia police officers on a near daily basis. So what do people think of them?
Philadelphia: A Tough Beat
The Philadelphia PD has a tough beat. Of course, all police work in an urban setting is ramped up to an extreme degree. Huge, teeming cities are full of opportunities for blight and crime to an extent that most small towns simply don’t have the capacity for. But Philadelphia in particular has had a rocky road when it comes to crime. In 2012, there were approximately:
- 350 murders in New York City
- 500 murders in Chicago
- 660 murders in L.A.
- 330 murders in Philadelphia
That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Philadelphia has the lowest number. Of course, then there’s this to consider:
- NYC population: about 8.3 million
- Chicago population: about 2.7 million
- L.A. population: about 3.8 million
- Philadelphia population: about 1.5 million
The MOVE Incident of 1985
The first event that springs to mind for many of the city’s long-time residents in connection with the Philadelphia PD is the infamous MOVE incident of 1985. CNN described MOVE at the time as “a loose-knit, mostly black group whose members all adopted the surname Africa, advocated a back-to-nature lifestyle and preached against technology.”
On May 13th, 1985, the Philadelphia PD decided that after a slew of noise complaints from neighbors, the members of MOVE — many of whom had violated parole, or were in possession of illegal weapons — had to live up to their name. But the eviction was anything but orderly. As MOVE members and police officers fired rounds at each other, the situation escalated until the Philadelphia PD called in a helicopter to drop two pounds of dynamite on the West Philadelphia row home where MOVE was headquartered.
Unfortunately, the fire that resulted from the explosion managed to spread to about 60 homes and kill 11 people — five of whom were children.
Then-Mayor W. Wilson Goode admitted, “Dropping a bomb on an occupied row house was unconscionable.” However, no criminal charges were filed. Only in 1996 was the City of Philadelphia ordered to pay damages to relatives and survivors, earning the dubious title of “The City That Bombed Itself.”
Words from Other Philadelphia Police Officers
Granted, that was over twenty years ago. Has the Philadelphia PD moved on?
Opinions about the force can be harsh — even when they come from within. An anonymous officer has this much to say, and he doesn’t mince words: “Look, I’m not saying the 25th is easy. It’s a nightmare. We’re not the compassion police. But we still have horses’ asses who never get it. They make all of us look bad. They’re idiots. They weaken the f—ing force.”
Charles Ramsey, current Police Commissioner, has an approval rating of 69% to date. A year from now, we’ll have to check again.
If you or someone you know has been arrested in Philadelphia, contact Young, Marr & Associates for an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney immediately.
NO JAIL TIME
Commonwealth v. "H" (DUI case)
Client was charged with three separate DUI cases calling for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 90 days on each case. Client was advised to seek immediate intensive alcohol counseling. Client was sentenced to 1 year of house arrest after serving 3 days in the county prison.
Commonwealth v. "C" (Felony drug/Firearms case)
Client was charged with felony Delivery of drugs and illegal gun possession and was facing a mandatory 3-6 year prison sentence in the State prison system. Client was sentenced to one year of house arrest.
Commonwealth v. "S"
Client was charged with simple assault, domestic. After a hearing where evidence and testimony was presented, the entire case was dismissed by Judge Leonard Brown.
State of New Jersey v. "H"
Charges for young man charged with second degree aggravated assault were downgraded to third degree and he was accepted into the County Pretrial Intervention program with charges to be dismissed and record expunged after one year of misconduct free behavior.
OUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE TEAM INCLUDES TWO FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
We have decades of experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors, and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Anyone facing charges involving a criminal offense can expect to experience a heightened degree of emotional turmoil, for themselves, as well as their family members. Our team of highly qualified criminal law attorneys and expert legal support staff are committed to providing each of our client’s with the compassion and understanding they deserve, as well as an aggressive plan for representation at an affordable price.
As former prosecutors, we have a balanced and in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and how the prosecution prepares cases. In addition, we have long-standing experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
At Young, Marr and Associates, when we say “experience matters,” we mean it. Our lawyers, which include two former prosecutors and a former senior deputy district attorney bring more than three decades of criminal law experience, handling more than 10,000 criminal cases. It is precisely that experience that allows us to achieve outstanding results for our clients facing DUI, traffic, felony and misdemeanor charges in state, federal and juvenile courts.