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Ramsey’s Discipline Comes Back To Bite Him

By Wyatt Earp | August 14, 2008

Oh, that’s a shame.

At a May news conference, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey sent a clear message that he would not tolerate police brutality.

First, he pledged to fire four officers for their role in a high-profile videotaped police beating of three shooting suspects. Then, he announced plans to transfer four other officers, suspending three without pay.

Turns out, not everything happened the way Ramsey said it would.

Good. Ramsey never gave the officers an interview, an investigation, or a hearing. Direct Action by the Police Commissioner: You’re gone. Due process for Philadelphia police officers died that day.

In an interview yesterday, Ramsey revealed that he decided not to transfer those officers.

“I changed my mind,” Ramsey said. “After I thought about it, I thought the discipline was sufficient and there was no need to transfer them.”

No, you decided not to transfer because you were afraid you (and the city) would be sued. And rightly so, since you would have been guilty of double jeopardy with regards to the punishment.

As for the suspensions without pay, Ramsey said he belatedly learned that the officers were permitted to work extra hours and on days off to recoup any missed income.

“It certainly was a stretch of the rules,” Ramsey said. “And I clarified those rules to make sure people understand that you just can’t do that. That’s just not permissible – period. Now I don’t know who authorized it but whoever did, I’m not going to be happy with.” (The Philadelphia Daily News)

It may have been a stretch of the rules, but no rules were broken. Perhaps Ramsey will punish someone for “stretching the rules” now. I’ll have to look up that little statute in my crimes code.

Personally, I think Ramsey has been a disaster for the department, and it hasn’t even been a year yet. Morale is at an all-time low, and stories like this aren’t making things any better.

I never thought I’d see the day when I wanted Sylvester Johnson back.

Topics: Philly, The Job | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Ramsey’s Discipline Comes Back To Bite Him”

  1. RT Says:
    August 14th, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    What a tool!

    That reminds me. Yesterday, when I was at that bookstore in Kentucky, they had a book about Frank Rizzo. Hmmm…

  2. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 15th, 2008 at 11:15 am

    RT – We could use a man like him now.