Federal and city prosecutors will not file criminal charges against four Philadelphia narcotics officers for allegedly terrorizing bodegas during raids.
The cops were the focus of a 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Daily News, which reported that they allegedly lied on search warrants and stole thousands of dollars from bodegas and corner stores.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey reported the matter to the FBI. After investigating for several years, the U.S. attorney’s office told him a few months ago that it was not prosecuting. Ramsey then took the file to District Attorney Seth Williams.
Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for Williams’ office, said the office reviewed the feds’ decision and found no evidence of impropriety, so there was nothing else it could do.
The file then went to the police department’s Internet Affairs unit. Ramsey says the bureau sustained many allegations against the officers, who could be disciplined.
“I don’t have a completed package yet on my desk,” said Ramsey. “But once I do, I’ll review the entire file … and make a decision from there.”
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 has long maintained that the officers did nothing wrong, and it commends the prosecutors’ decision to not file criminal charges. The officers’ alleged victims are furious.
The U.S. attorney’s office would not answer questions about its determination. Spokeswoman Patricia Hartman said she cannot even confirm the existence of an investigation.