Police Dept. reveals length of suspensions for cops who shot driver

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Two plainclothes Philadelphia police officers who shot a food delivery man in 2014 resulting in a record $4.4 million city settlement, were each suspended without pay for 25 days as punishment for their actions.

This information comes as the police department on Friday announced that it has scrapped a policy, which had barred officials from disclosing the lengths of the suspensions  given officers Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey.

The policy change is due in part to an article that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News on Monday examining the 2014 shooting of Philippe Holland, department spokesman Sekou Kinebrew said Friday.

Going forward, punishments that result from internal investigations and  which involve a citizen that has been affected by an officer’s actions will be made public, he said.

Punishments doled out as a result of external complaints, such as a citizen’s complaint against an officer,  are already made public.

“It came down to retaining a policy verses transparency,” Kinebrew said in explaining the policy change.

Farrell and Hanvey, who no longer work plainclothes details, each began serving their suspensions in March and completed them earlier this month, he said.

The 25-day suspension, Kinebrew said, are longer than what the department calls a 30-day suspension because the latter includes two days each week that an officer would normally be scheduled off. 

“These are real suspensions, five weeks without pay,” Kinebrew said.

John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5, said he takes little issue with the policy change but will fight the punishments handed to Farrell, 30, and Hanvey, 28.

“We’re going to grieve that and go to a hearing and we expect to recover every bit of that 25 days,” said McNesby, who called the shooting of Holland “an unfortunate ordeal.”

Just before 10 p.m. on April 22, 2014, Holland had delivered a food order to a customer on Willows Avenue near 51st Street in West Philadelphia when he spotted the two plainclothes officers emerging from their unmarked car parked in the intersection.

Fearing they were robbers, Holland, then 20, hurried to his car and attempted to drive away. The officers opened fire, hitting the car with 14 bullets, three of which struck Holland in the face and leg. The officers told investigators they believed Holland was trying to run them over as they attempted to question him about gunshots heard in the area, which they were investigating.

The department’s Police Board of Inquiry, in January, found the officers not guilty of violating the policy prohibiting officers from shooting at moving  vehicles. That finding was overruled by Ross.

McNesby said the officers have been wronged by Ross’ decision. “When they over rule things, unfortunately, you have to arbitrate that. He  doesn’t have the final say.”

Added McNesby: “I’m going to stand by the officers 100 percent. Could things have been done differently? I wasn’t there. But I stand by the officers.”

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