Archive: April, 2009
A 14-year-old girl was found unconscious in just her bra and panties in Fairmount Park last night. Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives said a jogger found the girl in the park, on Martin Luther King Drive near Falls Bridge, at about 9 p.m. The driver flagged down a motorist, who called 9-1-1. Walker said the girl was unresponsive until medics arrived. She briefly regained consciousness and complained of a headache. The girl was listed in stable condition in Temple University Hospital, where doctors were trying to determine if she had been sexually assaulted. Walker said some clothing had been found in the park, but it was unclear if it belonged to the teen.
Update: Police investigators said earlier today that they have thus far found no evidence to suggest the teen was raped or assaulted and are now pursuing the case as a "medical investigation." Police officials said parents of the teen weren't allowing investigators to interview the girl earlier today, meaning detectives now have to wait on toxicology tests to try and learn more about what happened in Fairmount Park.
As many of you are aware, Daily News reporters Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman have been reporting up a storm since February on misconduct allegations leveled at members of the Narcotics Field Unit. Their work apparently led to some internal moves in the Police Department:
Two Philadelphia police narcotics field unit squads — including one at the center of an ongoing federal and local probe — have been folded into other narcotics units.
Deputy Commissioner William Blackburn yesterday described the move as a “reshuffling of the deck” that will allow for better supervision of the officers.
The consolidation plan, approved by Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, came after a series of Daily News articles exposed numerous accusations of illegal behavior by Narcotics Officer Jeffrey Cujdik and other cops.
“Narcotics is one of those units that requires a small span of control because they deal with search-and-seizure warrants, confidential informants and other high-risk situations,” Blackburn said. “In light of the articles and the scrutiny the Narcotics Bureau is under, we felt this was necessary.”
Cujdik and nine other officers who worked in Squad 9, and five officers from a different team, are remaining narcotics squads.
“It’s not out of the norm for us to rotate people into different units,” Blackburn said. “This is more about them having a higher level of supervision.”
Each of the 10 squads will have at least a sergeant supervising operations, he said.
In a 2002 report that examined police enforcement of drug laws and made recommendations for preventing systemic abuse, Ellen Green-Ceisler, then director of the Police Integrity and Accountability Office, concluded that narcotics officers and supervisors should be regularly rotated.
Green-Ceisler, now a judge, found that police departments across the country require rotations to keep officers honest.
Cujdik, a 12-year veteran, is at the center of an expanding federal and local probe into allegations that he lied on search-warrant applications to gain access to suspected drug homes and that he became too close with his informants. He rented a house to one and allegedly provided bail money to another.