The cops that were fired and demoted for the beating of three murder suspects were invited back to the “force” by an overturned verdict. A party was planned (a regular ritual) by FOP flyer that said: “Our Guys Are BACK!” The flyer invites all officers to the free happy-hour party at the FOP office, on Spring Garden Street near Broad.
At the time of the beating in 2008, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey felt strongly enough from the footage he viewed to fire Officers Patrick Gallagher, Vincent Strain, Patrick Whalen and Robert Donnelly, and to demote Sgt. Joseph Schiavone and suspend Officers Jonathan Czapor, Demetrios Pittaoulis and Sean Bascom. The three suspects Pete Hopkins, Dwayne Dyches and Brian Hall had been in a chase with the officers and once stopped beaten like animals. They were acquitted of all charges, yet there was no party waiting for them.
But the injustice of this case is nothing new in the politics of Philadelphia. According to Philly.com, a couple of weeks ago, “an arbitrator ruled that the two- most-veteran fired officers should get their jobs back and that the suspended and demoted officers’ punishment had been too harsh. The arbitrator didn’t address the two rookie officers who’d been fired, but FOP President John McNesby said yesterday that they had been reinstated, too.” A grand jury cleared the officers of any criminal wrongdoing.
This comes as no great shocker to me. I mean, the “City of Brotherly Love” is the only city in my lifetime that actually dropped a bomb on its own African American residents. And let us not forget, that the bomb was dropped by their first African American mayor, Wilson Goode, who resigned not long after, but was reinstated three years later. Obviously, the babies that died in that bombing did not haunt him enough. The politics and police organization in this city has never reflected anything brotherly (accept amongst cops) or love. The MOVE organization lost families and an entire city block was lost to that bombing in 1985. And it all started from the death of a police officer years earlier. They told the truth about the injustice in Philadelphia and were attacked. Ramona Africa will tell you all you need to know here.
Maybe people didn’t believe in their politics. Maybe they were too loud and their ways unconventional, but to bury their children with thousands of rounds of artillery and bomb them as they huddled in a dark basement? In the middle of a city block? There is no excuse that will ever suffice. If you don’t know about the MOVE organization bombing, learn about them here.
In case you forgot what happened to these guys. Here it is.