Justice Department Releases Long-Awaited Review of Philly Officer-Involved Shootings

Image: COPS Office report cover.

Image: COPS Office report cover.

By Kenneth Lipp and Dustin Slaughter

The Department of Justice’s Community-Oriented Police Services (COPS) Office released its highly-anticipated review of Philadelphia Police Department use-of-force policies at a press conference at US Attorney Zane Memenger’s office this morning.

Started in November 2013 with research conducted by George Fachner of CNA Corporation and COPS representative Steven Carter, the report includes 48 findings, and highlights “serious deficiencies” in the police department’s “use of force policies and training, including a failure to maintain a certified field training program; deficient, inconsistent supervision and operational control of officer involved shooting investigations and crime scenes; and oversight and accountability practices.” It also contains 91 recommendations for improving Philadelphia policing. COPS intends to work with the PPD over the next 18 months, and plans to issue two progress reports for the public during that time period.

The review also calls for improved data sharing practices with the Police Advisory Commission, Philadelphia’s civilian police oversight board.

Mayor Michael Nutter, also present at this morning’s press conference along with Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, commended his police chief for volunteering to allow the COPS Office review. Ramsey currently heads President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and has come under fire for his department’s perceived lack of transparency in the officer-involved shooting case of 26 year-old Brandon Tate Brown, as well as his failure to release shooting data to the Police Advisory Commission.

Read the report in full here.

Our coverage on the report itself can be read here.


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