Philadelphia City Council is probing the conduct of city police. The police department acknowledges a problem with misconduct and is working on a solution.
One hundred thirty-six complaints have been filed against Philadelphia police officers with the Police Advisory Board this year, compared to 195 reports in 2009.
Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross testified he is focusing on officers who have repeated complaints filed against them.
“We know exactly where the problems are we are starting to deal with them and address them at their very core,” said Ross.
Pastor Brian Jenkins of Chosen 300 Ministries complained that he told an officer coming into his storefront church during services that he could not enter under city regulations.
“He decided to go beyond me I then stopped the officer, I was told that if I touched him again he would arrest [me],” said Jenkins.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says one issue is police are walking into unknown situations and need to stay in control.
“For every negative case you show I can show you officers going above and beyond doing the right thing,” said Ramsey.
It’s unclear if the council hearings will spur new legislation. Councilman Curtis Jones had this to say after a Fraternal Order of Police Spokesman said police are working hard to keep order in the city.
“I agree with 99 percent of what you say except for the good guys ride in the front the bad guys ride in the back sometimes there are innocent people who ride in the back,” said Jones. “Sometimes there are innocent people who wind up in the back of the car as well and we need to treat all of them with dignity and respect.”
Among those speaking was Abdus Sabur, whose son allegedly was assaulted by police. He turned to speak to police officials in the audience.
“You people beat my child down and think he’s supposed to accept it,” said Sabur. “If you’ve got a cop that’s wrong let’s get rid of him, because he’s no good for the police department, do you understand.”
Police say the video, which was posted on YouTube, did not include the knocking down of a police officer before the police struck the man.