Monday, August 3, 2015

Police-involved shootings subject of forum at Phila. City Hall

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Police investigate the crime scene in the parking lot of a Rite-Aid store at Levick Street and Torresdale Avenue in the Tacony section of Philadelphia, after police shot an armed gunman.  (For the Daily News/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
Police investigate the crime scene in the parking lot of a Rite-Aid store at Levick Street and Torresdale Avenue in the Tacony section of Philadelphia, after police shot an armed gunman. (For the Daily News/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

The ongoing federal review of officer-involved shootings by the Philadelphia Police Department will be the subject of a Thursday night forum at City Hall.

Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the department’s use of deadly force following a 2013 Philly.com investigation. The news website found that police-involved shootings in 2012 rocketed to their highest level in a decade even as the rate of violent crime continued to plummet. Police shot at 59 suspects that year, killing 16 of them, according to records. In 2013, the number of police shootings fell to 43 with 11 fatalities.

The public forum will run from 6 to 8 p.m. July 10 in City Council Chambers on the 4th floor. Community members will have the opportunity to ask questions about the review and offer comments. Investigators will be present to field questions and describe the work they have accomplished during the last year.

“Our goal is to use the review process as a framework for detailed public discussions around the use of deadly force by Philadelphia Police officers,” said Kelvyn Anderson, executive director of the city’s Police Advisory Commission.

A similar review was recently completed for the Las Vegas Police Department which had experienced a 2011 spike in officer shootings. Paid for by a grant from the DOJ's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), that review resulted in experts issuing 75 findings and recommendations after examining the department’s training, policies and tactics. The department’s disciplinary procedures and transparency were also reviewed and revised.

Anyone who would like to offer public comment at the forum is asked to contact Anderson at Kelvyn.Anderson@phila.gov or 215-­685-­0891.


Contact Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or samwood@phillynews.com. Follow @samwoodiii on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

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