Philadelphia DA moves to create database of 'problem' cops

Philadelphia DA moves to create database of 'problem' cops
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Philadelphia’s district attorney is taking steps to create a comprehensive database of “problem” police officers.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday that District Attorney Larry Krasner has asked police for nearly 10 years of data about officers who have committed various offenses, including lying while on duty, racially profiling and violating civil rights.

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The purpose of the database is to identify law enforcement officers that have credibility issues and should not be called as witnesses in court.

Other cities, including Seattle and San Diego, have created similar lists in an effort to improve police integrity.

Creating the list is “one of the biggest challenges this office has ever faced,” Krasner told the Inquirer.

The city currently has a list of 66 officers, about half of whom are labeled as “Do Not Call,” but Krasner told the Inquirer that the new list will likely have more names.

The initial list was developed by Krasner’s predecessor, who kept the data secret and did not disclose the information to defense attorneys. Krasner was ordered by a judge to release the list earlier this year, prompting the public defender to file thousands of petitions for new trials in cases involving the officers.

Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill was recently released from prison after it was revealed that the officer who arrested him was on the existing “Do Not Call” list.

Krasner said the new policy will require that prosecutors disclose past officer misconduct to defense attorneys, but he has not yet decided if he will make the information public.

John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, criticized the move, telling the Inquirer that it could unfairly affect police officers if they are falsely accused of infractions, and would be an “administrative nightmare” for law enforcement.

“You’re just painting the whole department with a broad brush,” he said.

But Krasner pushed pack, telling the Inquirer that the information will actually be beneficial to the police department.

“They need to know that so that they don’t put an officer whose credibility is in question in a position, when they could have put an officer deemed credible, [and] thereby mess up a case,” he said.