By Dustin Slaughter
Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper dismissed on Friday 59 more narcotics cases related to the recent indictments of seven Philadelphia narcotics officers, The Inquirer reported yesterday.
The paper described the scene in court:
Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper required only about a minute for each conviction she dismissed – an assembly-line treatment of cases, which the courts have perfected after years of police scandals.
Specifically, these newly-tossed cases involve just one of the officers, Jeffrey Walker, who pled guilty last year to a range of federal charges.
Walker, a 24-year member of the police department, was busted in a 2013 FBI sting in which he was caught planting drugs in a suspect’s car. He is now cooperating with federal investigators against his six former colleagues: Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman, and John Speiser.
Woods-Skipper is expected to review an additional 40 cases – at minimum – on November 7th, all of which are related to arrests made by the seven narcotics field unit officers.
These latest dismissals bring the tally of thrown-out cases to 416.
Bradley S. Bridge of the Defender Association of Philadelphia has indicated that he will file an additional 1,000 appeals, seeking to overturn even more cases in the coming months.
Bridge also says that the city has not seen a police corruption scandal of this magnitude since six 39th District narcotics officers were indicted in the late 1990s.