GUEST: Rev. Gregory Holston, pastor of Tioga Methodist, works with POWER Philadelphia, and inter-faith organization, Mary Catherine Roper, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
A new Justice Department investigation this week examined policing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and found that over the past 8 years police officers shot at suspects nearly 400 times. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the suspects – 81 percent – were black. The report comes just weeks after the Justice Department’s scathing report on policing in Ferguson, Missouri, which has become ground zero in the fight against police brutality against African Americans.
In Philadelphia, the details are different. Many of the officers involved, including the police commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, and Mayor Michael Nutter, are African American. In fact, the probe was requested by Commissioner Ramsey through the DOJ’s Collaborative Reform Initiative, at a time when assaults against officers were dropping but shootings by police were increasing. The report was released just days after the District Attorney decided not to press charges against a Philly police officer who fatally shot a 26-year old African American man named Brandon Tate-Brown last December.