In the world of phone cams and viral videos, you’d think cops would keep their undercover racism to themselves. But no, two Philly cops were caught on candid camera being racist pigs after they stopped and frisked two pedestrians.
Want to know what exactly the two pedestrians were stopped for? The violent crime of saying “hi’.
“You don’t say ‘Hi’ to strangers,” said one officer, identified as Philip Nace from the city’s 25th District. “Not in this neighborhood,” his partner added.
“We don’t want you here, anyway. All you do is weaken the fucking country,” Nace told one of the men.
“How do I weaken the country? By working?” the man asked.
“No, freeloading,” Nace replied.
“This is exactly what the city of Philadelphia says its cops don’t do,” said Mary Catherine Roper, senior staff attorney for the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is monitoring the city’s stop-and-frisk program. “The only way we stop it from happening is if the Police Department acknowledges that it does happen and takes steps to root it out.”
Herbert Spellman, a retired cop who said in a cover story in yesterday’s Daily News that he was subjected to a “demeaning” stop and frisk last month, called on police brass to send a message to patrol cops that verbally and physically abusive behavior won’t be tolerated.
“It starts at the top,” Spellman said.
Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman, said Internal Affairs is investigating the Nace incident. He said that the investigation – not the video – would determine whether the officers “acted appropriate in all aspects of their job.”
Last year, Lt. Jonathan Josey was fired after a YouTube video went viral of him punching a woman in the face and knocking her to the ground, but he’s back on the job today.
“We train our officers to conduct lawful stops, and we continuously address this issue where necessary to provide the best service to the citizens of Philadelphia,” Stanford said in an email. He declined to comment on the Nace video specifically.
In the video, Nace didn’t provide a clear explanation of why the men were stopped. Roper questioned whether there was reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed.
The ACLU estimates that nearly half of the more than 200,000 annual pedestrians stopped are lacking reasonable suspicion, but the Police Department has disputed that.
As of October 11th, Nace was still doing his beat on the streets of Philadelphia.