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18th Police District Town Hall Report Back

Newsworks

On Monday, May 15th, more than 50 neighbors joined Cedar Park Neighbors, Cobbs Creek Neighbors, Garden Court Community Association, and Walnut Hill Community Association for a town hall meeting with representatives from the 18th Police District to discuss the 2014 shooting of Philippe Holland. We appreciate that so many neighbors took time out to attend and have their voices heard on this issue. We thank  Deputy Police Commissioner Robin Wimberly, 18th District Captain Gregory Riley, and 18th District Community Relations Mike Davis for their attendance and answering of neighbors’ questions.

Key Findings

  • The District Attorney’s office declined to charge officers Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey criminally, and is the city office solely responsible for making such determinations.
  • The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD)’s internal Use of Force Review Board (UFRB) concluded that the officers violated department policy but did not specify a punishment for the violation.
  • The PPD’s internal Police Board of Inquiry (PBI) found the officers did not violate the policy prohibiting officers from shooting at moving vehicles. Police Commissioner Richard Ross overruled the PBI’s finding and suspended them for 25 days without pay.
  • In 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a report on the PPD’s use of force.  This report cited exactly this type of internal conflict between the UFRB and the PBI. While the PPD has implemented 61 of the DOJ’s 92 recommendations, it has yet to take action on the DOJ’s recommendations that the dual boards be dismantled and their duties integrated into one board.
  • The police union, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), has indicated that it intends to file grievances to overturn the officers’ punishments and recoup their lost wages.
  • The officers received counseling, and were retrained and evaluated by the PPD before returning to street duty.
  • In response to the April 28th letter from CPN, CCN, GCCA and WHCA, the PPD transferred the officers to the 3rd Police District in South Philadelphia, and the 8th Police District in Northeast Philadelphia. The PPD believes that any further changes to the officers’ work assignments could be interpreted as additional punishment and may trigger additional union grievances.
  • Information on Officer Involved Shootings is posted to the PPD’s website and available to the public at https://www.phillypolice.com/ois/
  • Body cameras are in beta testing in the 22nd Police District and are being expanded into the 25th Police District.

Next Steps For Our Organizations

  • Contact Councilman Curtis Jones, chairman of City Council’s Public Safety Committee, regarding the city’s current civil service arbitration negotiations for the union contract with the Fraternal Order of Police. The new union contract is to be negotiated in arbitration in July.
  • Contact District Attorney’s office for more information as to why criminal charges were declined.
  • Contact the Police Advisory Commission for more information on the implementation of the DOJ’s remaining recommendations.

Resources for the Community: Upcoming Meetings

18th Police District Community Meetings

  • Police Service Area -1 Meeting, Wednesday, June 7th, 6:00 p.m., 6130 Cedar Avenue
  • Police Service Area – 2 Meeting, Tuesday, June 13th, 6:00 p.m., 5510 Pine Street
  • Police Service Area – 3 Meeting, Thursday, June 15th, 6:00 p.m., 4740 Baltimore
  • Captain’s Townhall Meeting, Tuesday, June 20th, 6:00 p.m.,  5510 Pine Street

Police Advisory Commission Meetings

The Police Advisory Commission (PAC) is overseeing the implementation of the remaining DOJ recommendations and will issue a report updating on that progress. PAC meetings are open to the public and held on the third Monday of each month at its office (990 Spring Garden St, 7th Floor), or at community centers, churches and other locations throughout the city. Check for details at  http://www.phila.gov/pac/Pages/default.aspx

Resources for the Community: News Coverage & Background Info

YouTube: Police Leadership in 18 district (30 minutes of the town hall meeting)

Newsworks: Dozens of residents protest Philly officers’ return to duty

DOJ: Collaborative Reform Initiative – An Assessment of Deadly Force in the Philadelphia Police Department

Philly Police: Officer Involved Shootings

Philly Police: Review Process for Officer Involved Shootings

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