Updated: Philadelphia Police Officer Faces Possible Arrest for Failure to Appear

By Kenneth Lipp and Dustin Slaughter

Update: Sources close to the case confirm that jury selection will begin tomorrow, and that the trial may begin as early as tomorrow afternoon. We’ve uploaded the court docket for Mr. Sabur’s case, which is viewable here.

There is much going on behind the scenes this week regarding Sabur’s trial, a lot of which we cannot confirm at this time. We will have updates for you when possible, however.


Officer Jimmy Leocal of the Philadelphia Police Department faces the possibility of a warrant for his arrest being issued by Judge Christopher Wogan if he again fails to appear to testify in the Commonwealth’s case against Askia Sabur.


Askia Sabur is charged with Aggravated Assault against a police officer, Attempting to Disarm a Law Enforcement Officer, Simple Assault, Reckless Endangerment, and Resisting Arrest for an incident that occurred September 3, 2010 outside a Chinese restaurant in West Philadelphia. The incident, which was caught on video and uploaded to Youtube, ended with Sabur being taken to Mercy Hospital where he received six head staples, a neck brace, and treatment for a fractured left arm and multiple back injuries.

Charges against Sabur for assaulting Officer Leocal have already been dismissed due to Leocal’s failure to appear at Sabur’s preliminary hearing on November 17, 2010. Charges remain for the alleged assault on Officer Donyul Williams, who testified at the November hearing that Sabur had injured Leocal and attempted to take his baton and gun.


Jury selection in the case is expected to begin tomorrow, with a possible trial date as early as Wednesday. Officer Leocal has been subpoenaed by the defense  and may be called to testify as a hostile witness. Sabur has been incarcerated since September of 2010.

We will bring you the latest on this trial as it progresses.

About Kenneth Lipp

Kenneth is a writer and researcher. He’s from Alabama, and will not apologize for it. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2012, but has been in love with Philadelphia since a late-night stroll down Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum in July of 2011 with the love of his life. He is interested in telling Philadelphia’s dynamic and absolutely unique stories with the zeal of a constantly enamored newcomer. Kenneth is also passionate about government transparency and protection of whistleblowers, most notably PFC Chelsea Manning. His research and reporting on law enforcement and surveillance have been featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone (Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters) and Popular Science (Boston Tested Crowd-Watching Software That Catalogues People's Skin Color). His training is in both genetics and history and he likes the joke about being a helicase and unzipping your “genes.” He’s driven to know, and thinks you can handle, the truth. Follow him on Twitter @kennethlipp.

There are 3 comments

  1. Jose De Leon

    Officer Leocal needs to invoke the 5th amendment cause he hasn’t committed perjury yet. The city of Phila & the District Attorneys office may turn on him if he can’t keep his story straight. Run, Let Askia and his family get on with their lives.


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