Local/State

Philly police misconduct subject of hearing

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey was on the hot seat in city council chambers Tuesday, responding to a council committee's public hearing into police conduct and misconduct.

"Police brutality in Philadelphia is at an all-time high and you want to sugarcoat it," Abdus Sabur of West Philadelphia said.

Sabur called out Commissioner Ramsey and his top brass saying his son was brutally beaten by cops in West Philadelphia on Labor Day weekend. The case is still under investigation.

"You people beat my child down and think that he's supposed to accept it; if you've got a cop who's wrong, get rid of him," Sabur said.

Ramsey and his commanders sat stone-faced during much of the city council hearing looking into complaints about the police department's controversial stop and frisk policy and the issue of police brutality.

Ramsey told the council committee he remains a hard-nosed cop, but an aggressive reformer, too.

"We have created several new reporting mechanisms to increase the access and the ease with which people may report misconduct," Ramsey said.

The police advisory board said the number of complaints filed against police is actually down from 2009. But the activists came out to charge that reform is happening too slowly and the hard line attitudes are still deeply entrenched.

"Simply put, the public face police brutality victim is that of a black and Latino male. This racial link is the direct result of the disproportionally high number of blacks and Latinos who have been assaulted by the police," University of Pennsylvania Professor Chad Lassiter said.

"We have taken many aggressive steps to remove those individuals in the department who have misused their authority," Ramsey said.

Ramsey has said time and again that the vast majority of Philadelphia Police officers is hard working, honest, and does their jobs the right way each and every day, but says brutality and misconduct by a relative few undermines the credibility of the entire department.

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philadelphia, pennsylvania, city hall, charles ramsey, local/state, vernon odom
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