Who Polices Our Police Departments?

What happens to an excessively drunk man who had a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal driving limit and was looking for a fight? Well since he was in Philadelphia, he found that fight was physically assaulted, had his head smacked into the concrete floor, tossed into a metal garbage can and then beaten up some more — and all of that by two uniformed Philadelphia Police Officers.

According to the report:

Police charged Foley with harassment, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, failure to disperse and resisting arrest; in August 2009, a judge acquitted him of those charges. Foley filed a complaint with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division (IAD). In November 2009, IAD sustained one charge against Corcoran for not filing a Use of Force Report. But IAD decided that Foley’s charges against Corcoran could not be proven.

In January 2009, just three months after Foley’s arrest in Old City, Corcoran punched a wheelchair-bound man in the face while on patrol in Grays Ferry. That man, too, ended up in the hospital. In that case, IAD found Corcoran’s use of force justified.

In this case, you have one side that clearly would have a motive to alter the truth of what possibly could have happened that night and then you have two other parties (the two witnesses and unrelated to the victim) who have absolutely no reason to do so.

There are three ways to think about what happened in Old City that Halloween evening: The first is that the cops’ version of events is accurate, and LeeAnne Mullins and I — who know neither each other nor Foley — either lied about or misinterpreted what we saw. The second is that it’s an aberration, which just so happened to occur outside this newspaper’s office and, consequently, drew the paper’s attention — to put it another way, perhaps it was blown out of proportion. The third is more troubling: What if this case was unique only in that it took place in front of patrons and tourists and celebrants and, yes, reporters — people who aren’t used to seeing cops behave this way? What if this behavior isn’t unique at all, it just usually happens in the city’s shadows, away from the public eye?

As you go on to read the rest of the story, it gets even more disturbing because when you have the city citizens wondering who they should turn to in cases of emergency when it is members of their very own Police Department who are committing these crimes.

“I was exclaiming, ‘I can’t believe this is happening,'” a witness testified. “Like, can you do something? Call the police. They’re already here.”

The scary thing throughout this whole ordeal is that it just not the Philadelphia cops at blame here; there are similar types of actions occurring all over the country without much act of accountability by their respective Police Departments or the judicial system. The United States has become such a nation of fear and continues to move towards an authoritative state where there is literally no one left to question the authority and those in power continue to get away with whatever they want.

Prior to reading the report, a very good friend of mine who currently goes to school in Philadelphia told me,

The cops sat us down after a snowball fight last night, saying inappropriate things. It was messed up.

I have known him for over nine years now and he is not one to comment on every issue that decides to come up so when he actually does, I make sure to listen because it definitely carries weight and authenticity.

I wrote about an incident just over a year ago titled “We Live In A ‘Police’ State” that talked about police brutality of a particular case in California. While power trips are to be almost expected by those in positions of power, especially those uneducated, what shocks me most is the lack of condemnation by fellow police and especially public officials.

How are the people supposed to trust a system to protect them when that very system is the one attacking them?

I have left this photo until the end of those with a weak stomach. It is a picture of the victim mentioned above in the Philadelphia incident.

THERE WILL BE BLOOD: This cell-phone picture captures Michael Foley toward the end of his encounter with Officer Kevin Corcoran on Oct. 31, 2008, in Old City.

Really makes you wonder when this type of stuff happens in public, what these guys are doing to the people when there isn’t a crowd around them and when they aren’t in the public eye.  Let your voices be heard and make sure these types of police brutality doesn’t go unheard.


Guest Post: NHL Playoffs Preview

If I need hockey news from someone I know personally, it is usually down to three people and two of which I went to high school with. One of those two has written a guest post on the upcoming NHL playoffs that get underway on Wednesday with 3 Eastern Conference series and 1 from the Western Conference.

I have bolded his series predictions below and added mine [in blue]. I think it just might be a nice contest throughout the playoffs to see who predicts the series more accurately.

Here is an analysis from Rusty Moke who is an avid hockey fan since as long as I can remember and has been in attendance for more hockey games this year alone than I even I got to watch:

The NHL playoffs are finally upon us; if 82 games weren’t enough get ready for a couple more.  Now, I’m no NHL scout or hockey analyst, (just an old high school buddy of a specific angry brown guy, who I’d like to thank for making room for me in his intelligent blog) but as an avid hockey fan/player you might be able to find a morsel or two of decent predictions among all of my ranting.

There are 8 different matchups, so I’ll make it short and sweet for each one.

(8) Montreal vs (1) Boston – The Bruins have surged forward this season, from 8th playoff seed last year to 1st this year.  The Canadiens have limped down the stretch, Markov is injured, and Price needs another year or two to become an outstanding goaltender.  Although I believe Boston is overrated and Tim Thomas is garbage, I’ll say Boston wins the series 4-1. [Boston – 4-2]

(7) New York (R) vs (2) Washington – My hatred of the Rangers aside, they are going to have a tough time with the Caps.  Washington has too much firepower for Lundqvist to handle between Ovie, Semin, Green, and Backstrom.  Theodore is Washington’s weak point, but the Rangers season long scoring problems shouldn’t give him much of a problem.  Having the #1 penalty kill in the league doesn’t win games.  Washington sweeps 4-0. [Washington – 4-2]

(6) Carolina vs (3) New Jersey – I’m obviously going to be biased towards the Devils.  Yes, we’ve had problems with the Canes all season long.  Yes, since Marty broke the record he hasn’t been at the top of his game.  But, Marty finally has rest and we have too much history with Carolina to drop this game.  Keep an eye on Babchuk, he’ll make things interesting.  NJ wins in 7. [Carolina – 4-3]

(5) Philadelphia vs (4) Pittsburgh – Not much to say here.  Since the coaching change Pittsburgh has been nearly unstoppable.  Everyone recognizes the names Crosby and Malkin.  Philadelphia has always been an unpredictable team, I don’t think they can hold onto this series, Biron isn’t very reliable.  Pittsburgh wins 4-1. [Pittsburgh – 4-2]

(8) Anaheim vs (1) San Jose– Not much to say here, get out your brooms.  Keep an eye on Cheechoo.  San Jose in 4. [San Jose – 4-1]

(7) Columbus vs (2) Detroit – Look no further for an upset.  Columbus has fought too hard to lose to the Wings in their first post season appearance.  Osgood isn’t as good as he is made out to be, Nash’s leadership is better than Datsyuk’s.  Mason isn’t done with shutouts this season.  Columbus in 7. [Detroit – 4-1]

(6) St. Louis vs (3) Vancouver – The Canucks faltered during the middle of the season, they won’t during the playoffs.  Congrats to the Blues for making it to the playoffs, they better enjoy it while it lasts.  Luongo has this one.  Vancouver wins 4-2. [St. Louis 4-2]

(5) Calgary vs (4) Chicago – Another close series.  Chicago has youth; they can make a run at the cup next year.  Calgary’s trades this year were invaluable.  Calgary wins 4-3. [Calgary 4-1]

Don’t go placing bets on my predictions, but then again who knows.  The playoffs always find some way to keep things interesting.  My cup prediction:  New Jersey vs Calgary.  That’s probably biased, but I’ve seen it all season.

I will probably add my own analysis tomorrow but once again big time appreciation and thanks to Rusty for some fantastic analysis. Once again, if any of you wanna jump in and add your predicitions, feel free to comment below and just let either me or Rusty know wha you think of the guest post.

Reason Number One.

I will be citing several reasons for why the Phillies will lose this series up until the start of game 1 because no pitch has been thrown. After that, it’ll be up to the players to back up history.

The Phillies have 4 World Series losses on their belt. What teams did they lose to?

1915 – Boston Red Sox (4) – Philadelphia Phillies (1)
1950 – New York Yankees (4) – Philadelphia Phillies (0)
1983 – Baltimore Orioles (4) – Philadelphia Phillies (1)
1993 – Toronto Blue Jays (4) – Philadelphia Phillies (2)
2008 – Tampa Bay Rays vs. Philadelphia Phillies

If you can tell the common theme amongst all four of those teams that Philly lost to is that they are 4 out of the 5 teams that make up the AL East. Sorry Philadelphia but you’re set to lose against the AL East… again.

Reviewing Baseball Predictions… And Making New Ones

Back on March 29th, I made baseball predictions about where the teams would finish and here is what I had said back then.

AL: Boston (East), Detroit (Central), Los Angeles (West) and Toronto (Wild Card)
NL: New York (East), Chicago (Central), Los Angeles (West) and Philadelphia (Wild Card)

As of right now, 2 of those picks are dead on (Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs). 2 of those picks are flat out wrong (Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays). What is going to be interesting is the race down the stretch to see if Boston can make up 3.5 games to win the division, whether the Mets hold on to win the division (up by 3 right now) as well as if the Phillies can gain 4 games on the Brewers with a little over 20 to go. I didn’t know it then, but what a story it would be if Joe Torre makes it to the playoffs with Manny Ramirez and the Yankees don’t make the fall classic.

I can go from having as little as only two correct picks or I can have as much as six out of the eight possible teams in their correct location.

Down the stretch analysis after the break… Continue reading “Reviewing Baseball Predictions… And Making New Ones”