Philadelphia’s sheriff wants to ban phones from city courtrooms for reasons of security.
Bringing a phones into the courtroom is dangerous because they all have cameras now, said Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams.
“Which puts witnesses in jeopardy, which puts undercover police in jeopardy because folks are using cell phones to take pictures,” he said. “And they take those pictures and forward them to gangs or people in the streets.”
Williams said he can’t ban phones entirely because he doesn’t have enough staff members to hold the phones when people are in the courthouse.
“It’s a major issue, and I think that’s something we need to work for from council and the financial side,” he said. “The district attorney’s side dealing with witnesses and, from the sheriff’s side, on how we secure those phones coming into a courthouse. It’s so dangerous.”
Councilman Curtis Jones said just the fear of being photographed could scare away some witnesses.