Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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Councilman on Tasergate: Suburbanites making city look bad

Mayor Nutter is standing by the police officer who Tasered the teen-ager trespassing in center field at Monday night's Phillies game, but it was South Philadelphia City Councilman Jim Kenney on Tuesday who had the strongest words yet for the behavior that precipitated the incident.

Councilman on Tasergate: Suburbanites making city look bad

Mayor Nutter is standing by the police officer who Tasered the teen-ager trespassing in center field at Monday night's Phillies game, but it was South Philadelphia City Councilman Jim Kenney on Tuesday who had the strongest words yet for the behavior that precipitated the incident.

Mayoral spokesman Doug Oliver said Nutter "fully supports" Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who defended the police officer who used a Taser gun to stun and subdue 17-year-old Steve Consalvi of Boyertown, in Berks County. "He strongly discourages fans from running on the field during the game, or without permission," said Oliver. Nutter is at a meeting in Washington, D.C., and could not be reached immediately for comment.

Kenney defended not just the police but also city sports fans, and complained that suburbanites were giving the city a bad rap.

"It seems to me that people from the suburbs think, when they come into the city, they can act like idiots," said Kenney, who is meeting with police and team officials next week about security policies at the stadiums.  "A lot of them come in and disrespect Philadelphia, then complain how bad Philadelphia is."

Kenney noted that neither Monday's episode nor the infamous "Pukeymon" incident last month -- in which 21-year-old Matthew Clemmens of Cherry Hill allegedly purposefully vomited on an 11-year-old girl at a Phillies game -- involved a Philadelphian.

Kenney praised the Phillies for their efforts to control unruly fans, including ejecting three "drunken idiots" who sat behind him a Phillies-Dodgers playoff game in October and chanted "F-- You, Manny."

Kenney wants anyone escorted out of the sports facilities to face, arrest, prosecution, a fine and/or community service. He was a backer of the famous "Eagles Court" presided over by now-Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, and suggested that a police wagon* should be stationed outside each game, if necessary, to take unruly fans away.

"I do think it does damage further the reputation of this town and its sports fans.," Kenney said. Kenney said while the use of a stun-gun appears "shocking," it was also hazardous for police officers to have to chase and/or wrestle people tot he ground. "Anything can happen when you have to physically subdue someone. The bottom line: no one has an issue if the goofball doesn’t run on the field."

"You can’t just allow them just go home or go to the next bar and brag about how fun it was to get thrown out of the stadium," Kenney said. 

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*NOTE: The author of this blog post may have slurred his own Irish ancestry in the original version by using the term "paddy wagon." While the origin of the term is disputed -- either referrding to the Irish "Paddies" thrown into the wagon, or the Irish policemen doing the throwing -- we get that it can be offensive. Kenney did not use this term.

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