October 3, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Philadelphia Legal Collective Files Assault Complaint Against Philadelphia Police Department
The Philadelphia-based Up Against the Law Legal Collective is filing a complaint with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division on behalf of one of our legal observers, Amanda Geraci. The complaint charges that Civil Affairs Officer Brown (Badge # 2454) assaulted Geraci while Geraci performed legal observing duties during a Shale Gas Outrage demonstration on Friday, September 21st, 2012.
Our complaint, which includes ample video and photographic evidence, contains a detailed description of the incident that occurred outside of the Philadelphia Convention Center, namely:
- Geraci, who at no time interfered with police action at the scene, was in the process of walking toward the glass doors to photograph a young man under arrest just inside the glass doors to the Convention Center. We stress that this documentation is a basic responsibility of any legal observer.
- As Geraci approached the doors, Officer Brown ran at Geraci, pinned Geraci up against a brick wall, and began yelling in Geraci’s face, pushing her forearm across Geraci’s throat and her leg between Geraci’s legs to restrict movement.
- Geraci calmly informed Officer Brown that she was legal observing and that she was not doing anything wrong. Despite this, Brown continued aggressively yelling in Geraci’s face while continuing to pin her on the wall with her knee pushed between Geraci’s legs and arm pressed against her throat.
- As Officer Brown needlessly escalated this situation with her impulsive and unprovoked actions, collective member Nathaniel Miller began to legal observe the situation, but was impeded by Officer Barrow (Badge #1147) when the officer stepped in front of Miller to block him from the observing Officer Brown’s unprofessional behavior.
- At this point, collective member Jody Dodd approached Captain Riddick, a commanding officer on scene, to politely ask him to de-escalate the situation. His response: “How about you take care of your people, and I’ll take care of my people.” Dodd made similiar requests to Captain Stephen Glenn (who arrived shortly after) as a professional courtesy “since we work together [in circumstances like this] from time to time.” Captain Glenn displayed similar indifference.
Up Against the Law Legal Collective strongly condemns the actions of Police Officer Brown and Civil Affairs leadership for allowing this kind of police misconduct to exist in the midst of peaceful demonstrations. We demand an investigation of this formal complaint and that appropriate discipline be taken by the Philadelphia Police Department.