Slain Officer's Photo Back Up; Judge Bashed

Court was back in session inside the 35th Police District on Wednesday -- this time with a photo of Philadelphia Police Officer John Pawlowski on display.

Philadelphia Judge Craig Washington caused controversy on Tuesday when he reportedly turned a photo of the murdered officer face down because he felt it was inappropriate for court. He felt that it could appear to show bias on behalf of the court.

The courtroom at the 35th district also serves as a community room for officers in the district. It's the same room where Pawlowski stood for roll call just hours before his murder.

The room has become a place for mourning officers to hang cards from school kids and community members and also a shrine of sorts to Pawlowski and other officers killed in the line of duty.

But, it's also a courtroom.

Judge William Meehan took the bench Wednesday with the photo of Pawlowski off to the side of the bench.

It wasn't interfering with my job -- I didn't have a problem with it," said Meehan.

Judge Meehan even held a moment of silence in memory of Pawlowski, according to some officers.

Washington had asked that the photo be removed twice before turning down the photo, according to officials.

Judge Washington isn't scheduled to preside over court at the 35th District in the near future but it has nothing to do with the photo flap.

Washington's schedule was set before Tuesday's events. He is set to work only as an on-call judge needed in case of emergencies/illness.

He gave no comment to reporters outside his home Wednesday morning besides wishing them a good day.

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