Four Philadelphia police fired over filmed beating

Posted: May 20, 2008 in Hip Hop (No Sucka Shit)
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PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Four Philadelphia police officers were fired and four others demoted or suspended after a video showed them beating three suspects after a drug-related shooting, the city’s police chief said on Monday.

The eight officers were among 18 who surrounded a car in North Philadelphia on May 5 after a shooting between two groups of men during police surveillance of a suspected drug-dealing operation.

Some of the officers were seen in a 67-second video dragging the suspects out of the car and kicking and punching them while they lay on the ground.

The incident, captured by a television news helicopter, came two days after the murder of a police sergeant during a robbery, the third Philadelphia officer killed in the line of duty in the past two years.

“We do have a group of officers whose actions were outside department policy and procedure,” Commissioner Charles Ramsey told a news conference.

After a two-week examination of the video, an internal police investigation determined the officers used “indiscriminate force” against the suspects, who are now in custody for their alleged role in the drug-related shooting.

One officer was seen kicking a suspect in the head, while another appeared to use an object in his hand to hit the head of another suspect, Ramsey said. A third officer “kicked one suspect twice as he lay on the ground.”

The officers may yet face criminal charges by Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, whose office is examining the video. The FBI is also reviewing the video, Ramsey said.

Asked to explain his officers’ violent behavior, Ramsey said he could not know what they were thinking, but speculated they may have been affected by the emotional aftermath of the murder of their colleague two days earlier.

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