Several African-American cops allege racism, corruption in Philly police unit

Rochelle Bilal (center), president of the Guardian Civic League, and Brian Mildenberg (right) attorney for a group of African American police officers, level charges of racism against the leadership at the Philadelphia narcotics unit. (

Rochelle Bilal (center), president of the Guardian Civic League, and Brian Mildenberg (right) attorney for a group of African American police officers, level charges of racism against the leadership at the Philadelphia narcotics unit. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A group of African-American cops wants the Philadelphia Police Department to investigate allegations of racial discrimination and corruption inside the Narcotics Unit.

The six officers say they were instructed to falsify paperwork and evidence if a drug suspect was willing to cooperate with investigators, said attorney Brian Mildenberg during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

The officers also allege they were denied overtime and “beneficial shifts” because they are black.

“Whether it be internal affairs, whether it be the [Philadelphia] District Attorney’s Office, whether it’s the DOJ [Department of Justice], we want this investigated because we have people, lives, that are hanging in reference to these actions,” said Rochelle Bilal, president of the Guardian Civic League, an organization representing African-American cops.

Bilal said she wants Inspector Raymond Evers and Chief Inspector Anthony Boyle removed from the force pending the investigation.

Wednesday’s allegations come on the heels of the department instructing an unnamed corporal to remove a license plate with a Confederate flag from his personal vehicle. Bilal and Mildenberg say that is potentially emblematic of deep-rooted problems within a unit that has a checkered history of racism and corruption.

“We’re concerned that if he felt comfortable to actually put that flag on his vehicle, how can he walk around the streets with a badge and decide who to arrest and who to pay attention to? That doesn’t seem very fair,” said Mildenberg.

A police spokesman said the department is “aware of the allegations, but is not able to comment on pending litigation.”

Two of the officers have filed complaints with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Mildenberg said a civil lawsuit is possible.

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