Are police getting out of hand? The councilwoman for Germantown, Chestnut HIll and Mt. Airy says there are enough claims against police that council should look into it.
Following recent allegations of police brutality, Philadelphia City Council will hold a hearing on police conduct December 7.
8th District Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller said she called for the hearings to examine what she calls a possible rise in questionable conduct by police officers that could potentially damage the reputation and integrity of the department.
“We’re not trying to have some kind of circus, we just want to understand what is going on,” she said. “Certainly there are problems in certain districts, there are more problems in certain districts than there are in others. It’s time. We’ve gotten a lot of requests to have a hearing and it’s just time to do it.”
Police took local criticism from neighbors of Happy Hallow Playground in lower Germantown following a shooting involving police in April.
The event resulted in the death of Vincent Parsons, 26, who ran into the playground when police approached.
Local residents say there were children in the playground at the time of the shooting. But an investigation by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams found last month that children had left the park before the shooting occurred.
Williams cleared the three officers involved with the shooting of any wrongdoing and he found that Parsons fired on the officers first.
Councilwoman Miller said she expects people who say police have overstepped their bounds will be available to testify at the hearing.
Philadelphia Police spokesman Lieutenant Ray Evers says the department has no information about any uptick in problems with police and the public.
“There is no increase of complaints against police officers since 2004 and I’m looking at the numbers through 2010.”
The 8th Council District covers Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill and parts of Nicetown and West Oak Lane.