By Wyatt Earp | February 17, 2009
The next time you hear someone say that Philadelphia’s judicial system cares about Philadelphia police officers, show them this post. I was there for this, and I don’t ever remember being so angry at work than I was today.
PHILADELPHIA – An altercation was reported Tuesday between members of the Philadelphia Police Department’s 35th District, which lost an officer in the line of duty last week, and a judge holding hearings inside the district’s headquarters.
Police sources tell Fox 29 News that Municipal Court Judge Craig M. Washington had been using a police roll call room at the headquarters for hearings and asked police to remove a memorial to fallen Officer John Pawlowski.
Ridiculous, since the police officers and detectives in my division have bent over backwards for this judge on several different occasions. We showed him plenty of professional courtesy; a courtesy he obviously chose not to return.
When officers refused, the judge went to the district captain and a police inspector.
When the higher-ups wouldn’t comply, they say Washington returned to the area and took down a memorial picture of the officer, saying that it was inappropriate for his courtroom.
The captain of the 35th District refused Washington’s inane request, and rightly so, since it has only been four days since Officer Pawlowski was gunned down!
A Fox 29 News phone call to Washington seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Because he’s a frakkin’ coward.
The Fraternal Order of Police, on the other hand, put out a statement Tuesday afternoon that calls the judge’s request “a ridiculous demand” and says he “brazenly” overturned two of the officer’s pictures.
The police union is asking the president judge to remove Washington from the hearing list pending a full investigation, take appropriate disciplinary action for “what amounts to vandalism of a police facility,” and suspend all hearings at the Broad and Champlost facility.
In my opinion, there is no way that Washington should be allowed to convene court hearings in the 35th District ever again. To say that we are none too pleased with him is the understatement of the century.
“It’s bad enough that Police Officers are being murdered by violent repeat offenders released by the judiciary. We now have to face a direct threat from the bench,” the FOP statement reads. “There is not a police facility in the City that does not contain a Memorial to a slain officer. If that offends the ‘judge’ he should pack up and hold his hearings elsewhere. (H/T – FOX29)
And, of course, Philadelphia’s president judge Marsha Neifield defended Washington’s actions because he preserved the “proper decorum” necessary for the courtroom.
With that kind of thinking, I certainly hope Neifield and her fellow judges do not need a favor from a police officer or a detective any time soon. They all should be ashamed of themselves.
UPDATE: For the record, here is the video from CBS3. They were there when this “judge” was arguing with members of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police.