Justice Dept. Investigates Philly Police-Involved Shootings

By David Chang
|  Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013  |  Updated 7:05 PM EDT
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The Philadelphia Police Department is using a Department of Justice report on the Las Vegas Police Department as a model to review policy, training and follow-up procedures for whenever there is a police-involved shooting.  NBC10's Harry Hairston reports.

NBC10 - Harry Hairston

The Philadelphia Police Department is using a Department of Justice report on the Las Vegas Police Department as a model to review policy, training and follow-up procedures for whenever there is a police-involved shooting. NBC10's Harry Hairston reports.

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In the aftermath of Monday's shootout that left one step brother dead and the other critically injured, a U.S. Justice Department agency is now investigating police-involved shootings in Philadelphia.

Both FBI agents and Police officers processed the shooting scene on Tuesday in East Mount Airy. That's where two suspects connected to several homicides were shot during a confrontation with authorities. A 21-year-old man was killed while his step brother, 19-year-old Justin Mackie, remains in critical condition. 

East Mount Airy resident Stacy Edwards is concerned that so many shots were fired on the street.

"Anyone could have gotten hit," she said. "It could have been kids. It could have been my son. He was outside at the time. Or it could have been my mom."

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As of today, there have been 23 police-involved shootings this year, already 50 percent more than there were last year at this time. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has asked the federal government to review the shootings.

"Representatives from the Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) Office will be spearheading this study," Ramsey said. "They arrived today to begin a series of meetings."

COPS is part of the Department of Justice and specializes in making recommendations to help police departments across the country better investigate and reduce the number of police-involved shootings.

"It's going to be a review of our policy, a review of our training and a review of our followup procedures whenever we have a shooting," Ramsey said. "I hope to see something that will better strengthen our department training."

COPS began the program last year in Las Vegas and also conducted the program in Spokane, Washington earlier this year. Officials say the recommendations the group made in Las Vegas are already helping the Philadelphia Police Department.

LINK: Las Vegas COPS Report

The Philadelphia Police Advisory Board, a group of residents appointed by city council to investigate police complaints, are happy with the move.

"We believe this is an extraordinary step to improve the relationship between the department and the community," said Kelvin Anderson, a member of the board.

Anderson says he'll meet with COPS on Wednesday.

 


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