Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and Mayor James Kenney issued a joint statement Monday, June 15, that an independent consultant would be appointed to thoroughly investigate the City’s response to the recent protest and related events. The review will be open and transparent according to Comm. Outlaw and include a wide-ranging review of the Philadelphia Police Department’s use of force.
The probe will start with the collection of footage from police body cameras, news and social media photos, and building and store videos for a visual rendition of what happened during the period May 29 through at least June 15. Action reports from the Department and other sources will be compared with police policies and procedures, and with what are considered “best practices” by law enforcement authorities.
Information will be sought from other law enforcement agencies including the PA State Police. The progress during the investigation will be reported monthly to the City’s Inspector General and Office of the City Solicitor. A final written report will be made public along with the investigator’s recommendations to improve PPD policies.
“As our city and our country continue to mourn and protest the death of George Floyd, and the tragic loss of so many other Black and Brown lives cut short, police departments must respond immediately to the public’s calls for meaningful police reform,” stated Commissioner Outlaw in part in the release. “Since February, I have welcomed the incredible opportunity to lead the Philadelphia Police Department, because I wanted to restore trust with the communities we serve and bring much-needed reforms and accountability to the Department.
Mayor Kenney added, “I applaud Commissioner Outlaw for her courage and discernment to utilize the events of the past few weeks as an opportunity to improve how the Police Department responds to protest activity and better serve the residents of Philadelphia… This independent evaluation will help us get to the bottom of the varying accounts of what happened in situations where officers used force—including the incident on I-676 and looting incidents—and enable us to make necessary policy and protocol changes..”
This summary of the Mayor’s Office of Communication release was prepared by Ted Behr.