A Philadelphia Weekly investigation found Philadelphia's 28,000 municipal employees have long been forced to navigate a confusing and problematic reporting system that varies wildly from department to department. As a result, misconduct is rarely documented, and critics say new reforms aren't enough to remove chronic abusers from City Hall for good.
On a clear September night in 2016, a 20-year-old black man and a female companion were driving through the darkened streets of Northwest Philadelphia when they noticed a 14th District patrol car tailing them. After a few blocks, two officers in the cruiser used their PA system to order the couple to pull over. It’s unclear exactly what transpired next, but the male driver later affirmed in a formal complaint that one of the cops pistol-whipped him after he stepped out of the car. “Fuck your pretty teeth," the officer reportedly said.
Riding Along With Paramedics On The Front Line Of The Overdose Crisis
As paramedics minister to their unresponsive patient, Philadelphia Emergency Medical Services Lt. Steve McCloskey reassures the man who summoned them that he did the right thing by calling for help. “There’s only two things that save lives out here,” McCloskey says. “Jesus and Narcan.”
In the name of the drug war, Philadelphia police seize millions in cash, cars and homes each year from ordinary citizens, even in cases where charges are never sought. But what happens to these assets after they're taken – and liquidated into secretive municipal bank accounts – remains one of the biggest mysteries in Philadelphia law enforcement.
“I wish a bank robbery would happen,” Thomas Nestel says. He’s joking – mostly. But he's also fishing for that Damn Good Story to tell about his undersold Transit Police, the story that begins in 2012, when Nestel took the reins of the department and developed some long-term, less sensational goals to raise the profile of a police department that many people know only as “not the real police.”
When the Philadelphia Housing Authority came to the Hawthorne neighborhood in 1996 with an ambitious redevelopment plan, Robert and Barbara Latimore had never heard of eminent domain. Nor did they suspect that, nearly two decades later, they would still be devastated by its power.
The Gentrification of Philadelphia's Open-Air Drug Market
December 01, 2016
Law enforcement officials have long recognized post-industrial Kensington area as one of the largest open-air drug markets on the East Coast. In online forums, anonymous drug users refer to visiting the area as making the “hajj,” riffing on the Arabic word for holy pilgrimage. The heroin sold here is among the purest available. This is the story of how it's being gentrified.
Inside Philly's Experimental School For Hip-Hop Entrepreneurs
January 01, 2020
In a modish co-working space overlooking downtown Philadelphia, Imowo “Veli” Udo-Uton has six minutes to persuade six investors to finance his startup. He has an event production company he wants to take to the next level, and, clad in a baseball cap and black-framed glasses, he outlines his plan - his ticket sale models, room occupancy caps and the first few big venues he can get with more capital. He tries to keep it animated and conversational. But midway through, he falters.
When it comes to the sex trade, Philadelphia police arrest hundreds more sex workers than they do johns on the streets. Between 2010 and 2015, cops made 5,560 arrests for prostitution, compared to only 1,239 for solicitation.