Philadelphia — Last Monday, ex officer of the Philadelphia police testified in court that he was a victim of the stop-and-frisk policies conducted in the city as he was manhandled by two officers during a pedestrian stop that resulted to back pain and neck problems that forced him to resign from the department seven years ago.
The plaintiff was identified as Herbert Spellman who was represented by a civil-rights lawyer connected with the American Civil Liberties Union. The report stated that city police are illegally stopping and frisking tens of thousands of people who belonged to the minorities despite the consent decree of 2011. Spellman, age 51, is a black American versus the two defendant white officers.
Defense lawyers described Spellman as a prejudicial man with an ax to grind against the police department after he was not given his disability or workers’ compensation following an on-duty car accident in 2006 that Spellman claimed was the reason for his back and neck problems. After his bids were rejected, Spellman tried to rejoin the department but since he served already for 20 years, he was again rebuffed.
Then in September of 2013, he ran into Officers Brad Momme and David O’Connor as he was looking for a bus stop after leaving his son’s school event. The officers were suspecting him exchanging glances with a well- known dealer of drugs on a high-crime corner in North Philly.
Spellman signaled using a three-digit code to indicate that he was a fellow police officer. As they approached, Spellman kept his hand in his waistband; making officers believed he was carrying a weapon off-duty.
Craig Straw who is Deputy City Solicitor Craig Straw related to the jurors that the demeanor of Mr. Spellman during their initial contact was confrontational, non-compliant and angry.
When Spellman made an agitated 911 on his mobile to call a supervisor, he identified himself as an off-duty officer, not a former one.
During his cross-examination, Spellman was using a cane and stood up several times to relax his back. His lawyer said that the injury was caused by the officers who twisted him when they put his hand on the patrol vehicle at the time of the search. The jury will be hearing more during the trial next week.
Last month, the ACLU report showed improvements in the way the police of Philadelphia handle their stop-and-frisk searches. The group, however, concluded that more than 1/3 of the 200,000 stops made last year were unfounded as only about half were based on reasonable suspicion.
The latest report filed using a court-ordered monitor discovered that 80% of the people were stopped, and nearly 90% those frisked came from the minorities. And there was no contraband found 95% of people being searched.
The report showed that city’s population is: 43% – black: 42% – white, and 9% -Hispanic.
If you or your loved one has been harmed or fatally injured due to negligence or someone else fault, contact an accident lawyer now for free consultation. You may be entitled to financial compensation for economic damages, as well as pain and suffering.
Source: Philly Com