PHILADELPHIA — A report from The Philadelphia Inquirer claims six police officers who were acquitted after being accused of corruption have now been reinstated to the police force.
According to the report:
Mark McDonald, the mayor’s press secretary, said the former narcotics officers – Michael Spicer, Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman, and John Speiser – will get $90,000 in back pay and have their original badges returned.
McDonald said five of the officers would be assigned to districts and would not return to the Narcotics Field Unit. Norman will be assigned to the impound lot.
James J. Binns, who represented Spicer in the federal case, initially said his client and another officer, who was not charged, would receive promotions under the arbitrator’s ruling. Binns said later Friday that he was wrong and that promotions were not part of the arrangement.
When Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey fired the six officers, he called the case “one of the worst cases of corruption I have ever heard.” He told reporters that the officers’ badges would be destroyed.
Spicer’s trial in particular sparked public outrage, as Spicer was accused repeatedly over the years of intimidation and misconduct. In 2008, Spicer was suspected of stealing drug money and planting evidence, and in 2010, Spicer was accused of throwing a suspect from the third story of an apartment building. He was acquitted of all charges.
The report goes on to explain some of the far-reaching consequences of the accusations the officers faced:
Prosecutors alleged the men routinely beat and robbed drug suspects. The allegations prompted dozens of civil rights lawsuits, causing the reversal of nearly 450 drug convictions.
Philadelphia’s decision to reinstate the officers comes amid more accusations and an internal investigation into police misconduct and use of excessive force. TruthVoice reported Friday about an internal investigation prompted by a video of an April incident that shows nearly two dozen police officers repeatedly hitting and applying electric shocks to Tyree Carroll, who was restrained and unarmed. The report and video have since garnered national attention. (Video available below:)
In addition to the legal troubles it has faced recently, the Philadelphia Police Department has been widely criticized throughout the year following findings that its officers have shot someone roughly once a week for the past eight years. Over 390 people were shot, many of whom were reportedly unarmed.