The Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed a 12-year-old last week will be suspended by the end of the week. Police commissioner Danielle Outlaw said it’s her intent to fire the unnamed officer.
Outlaw made the announcement at police headquarters Tuesday afternoon.
“This incident does not reflect who we are as the Philadelphia Police Department. It is not aligned with our values of honesty, honor, integrity and service,” she said.
Outlaw said the name of the officer who shot the young man and the three others involved will not be identified because of threats against them. The suspended officer is being referred to only as “officer 1.”
Outlaw said the boy did have a stolen 9mm handgun, from which he allegedly fired one shot. She said police believe that bullet that shattered the rear window of the car with the four officers inside.
As the plain clothes officers chased the young man and another teen following the shots, the commissioner said the unnamed officer violated the department’s use of force policy in firing at the fleeing youth. The 12-year-old was shot in the back and declared dead a short time later.
Outlaw specified the department’s use-of-force policy clearly states, “All use of force has to be proportionate to the resistance they’re trying to overcome.” She went on to say that department policy clearly states that excessive force will not be tolerated.
Outlaw described the incident as a “sickening and saddening situation,” adding: “It’s tragic that a 12-year-old had access to a gun.”
The investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Later Tuesday afternoon, District Attorney Larry Krasner issued a statement about his office’s investigation into the shooting.
“As prosecutors, we have a duty to seek justice by following the facts and law, wherever they lead us,” Krasner said, adding that his office would conduct “an unbiased and thorough investigation” that would be comprehensive and transparent. “When it is appropriate for us to do so, we will disclose findings of our currently active investigation and decision on whether or not to pursue any criminal charges.”
Outlaw would not address what she called the “criminal side of investigations.” She did say there needs to be more trust building with the community and every time the department takes “20 steps forward, it’s like you take 50 steps back.”
The Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing the officers, declined to comment on the incident at this point.