As we've noted here before, the Daily News and intrepid reporters Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker have not backed down in their agressive reporting on police corruption in Philadelphia, despite enourmous pressure from the cop union and others to do exactly that.
Today, thanks to their persistence, they take the story to a higher level:
"I got like seven or eight eyes," shouted Officer Thomas Tolstoy, referring to the cameras, as the officers glanced up. "There's one outside. There is one, two, three, four in the aisles, and there's one right here somewhere."
For the next several minutes, Tolstoy and other Narcotics Field Unit officers systematically cut wires to cameras until those "eyes" could no longer see.
Then, after the officers arrested Duran and took him to jail, nearly $10,000 in cash and cartons of Marlboros and Newports were missing from the locked, unattended store, Duran alleges. The officers guzzled sodas and scarfed down fresh turkey hoagies, Little Debbie fudge brownies and Cheez-Its, he said.
What the officers didn't count on was that Duran's high-tech video system had a hidden backup hard-drive. The backup downloaded the footage to his private Web site before the wires were cut.
You can watch the video here (unlike YouTube, it can't be embedded...sigh). There's not much to add that I haven't said here before, that bad-apple cops are a scourge on the vast majority of honest and hard-working police officers fighting crime on Philadelphia's hostile streets, and that Ruderman and Laker are your living proof of the need for professional journalists working those same sidewalks -- regardless of how it gets funded and whether it's published on dead trees or live electrons.