Bradley Bridge, of the public defender’s office, called Kline’s assertion that Spicer isn’t involved in Jones’ or other narcotics cases “an illusory proposition.”
“What’s going on here is an officer who has very significantly challenged credibility was placed back on the street, put in a position of responsibility, and now the past problems that the officer had will come home to roost,” Bridge said.
A spokesperson for Councilwoman Helen Gym confirmed yesterday that she has asked to include in the bill “an explicit protection for purely First Amendment activities.”. Councilman Curtis Jones, who co-sponsored the bill at the request of the Kenney administration, and who chairs the public safety committee , indicated he is in favor of the amendment.
The Philadelphia Police Department admitted today that a mysterious unmarked license plate surveillance truck disguised as a Google Maps vehicle, which Motherboard first reported on this morning, is its own. In an emailed statement, a department spokesperson confirmed: “We have been informed that this unmarked vehicle belongs to the police department; however, the placing of any particular decal on the vehicle was not approved through any chain of command.
With the Democratic National Convention just three months away, the people of Philadelphia are getting neither the accountability nor the transparency they deserve, despite extending a $15 million lifeline should Convention funding fall short. In what may be another red flag, The Inquirer reported last month that the Host Committee improperly filed its nonprofit paperwork with the IRS.
Many who have tried to pry loose records from city government over the past eight years — records that We the People own — could agree with Philadelphia Daily News journalist Dana DiFilippo’s characterization of the request process as “schizophrenic.”. Impeding the newsgathering process can have a profoundly negative impact on the Constitutionally protected duty a free press has to the public, and it erodes the trust between the governed and our leaders.
The Kenney administration’s point man in the matter, Deputy Mayor Jim Engler, has been in intensive, ongoing discussions with Squilla and others since public uproar began after Billy Penn first reported on the bill this week. After speaking with Engler and others, here’s what we know about the proposed changes to Squilla’s ‘Special Assembly Occupancy’ bill so far:
Why does the City of Philadelphia want phone numbers of the bands, DJs and entertainers who play here? “Updates to the Special Assembly Occupancy ordinance had been stuck in the review process for 9 months to a year,” said L&I Commissioner David Perri. “So when I came in, I said, OK, let’s get this moving.”.
Councilman Mark Squilla says he didn’t mean to create a registry of artists playing any venue in Philly, despite language in a bill he introduced that appears to do exactly that. The councilman issued a statement on Facebook Wednesday evening after an uproar erupted over Billy Penn’s story detailing the contents of Squilla’s ‘Special Assembly’ licensing bill.
UPDATE: ‘The bill will be amended,’ Councilman vows, as outrage spreads over measure. Police spokeswoman Denise James would not comment, instead referring Billy Penn to the department’s public affairs office, which did not respond. Police would factor into their decision-making things like “crime, traffic, litter, noise, parking and hours of operation; as well as any community concerns, particularly those of neighbors in the immediate vicinity,” according to the bill.
Come Jan. 1, all 300 SEPTA police will begin wearing body cameras, Billy Penn has learned. Reform-minded transit Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III and his superiors are scrapping an earlier plan to stagger the cost and defray the $400,000 price tag over a few years, and launching the body-camera program ahead of schedule.
Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ Point Breeze refinery has violated its operating permit 24 times since 2013, local public health agency documents AL DÍA obtained through a Right-to-Know request have revealed. The ‘Notice of Violation’ (NOV) records detail mechanical failures at the refinery and periods of higher than usual carbon monoxide emissions and other toxic materials.