Apr 13, 2015
When Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and District Attorney Seth Williams appeared at a town hall meeting on March 19, angry protesters shouted them down. A shoving match broke out with police officers and chairs were thrown. Ten people were arrested.
Ramsey was shocked that there would be such “violence” toward him and the police!
Oh, maybe it had something to do with the fact that he and Williams were actually trying to justify their decision not to indict a police officer who shot Brandon Tate-Brown, an unarmed black man, in the back of the head last December. Ramsey further used this community anger to justify his refusal to release the officer’s name.
Maybe the angry community members also understood what was coming in a Justice Department report that was released on March 23. The report showed that deadly force has been the first response of Philadelphia police: Over the past eight years, police opened fire at suspects 390 times, or nearly once a week.
The police themselves admitted that at least fifty-nine of those shootings were of unarmed individuals. The number could certainly be much higher, since the police are notorious for dumping an old gun at the scene of their crimes!
Ramsey leads President Obama’s policing task force on improving trust between law enforcement and minorities. Before this report was released, Ramsey had stated that he considered the department’s policy on lethal force to be a “best practice” among the country’s police departments. So this is the kind of advice Obama is seeking and getting!
OF COURSE the people at that meeting were angry! Given the cops’ outrageous justification of one more murder, their response was remarkably restrained!