We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).
This story has been updated on 7/8/2015.
By request, we’re going to take a momentary break from the Los Angeles Police Department and their shenanigans and take a look at what’s going on in Philadelphia with their police department.
A new video out of Philadelphia shows a young Black man being severely beaten and tased by Philadelphia officers in what can only remind you of Rodney King who was beaten by the LAPD and Marlene Pinnock who was beaten by the CHP.
On April 3 at approximately 7:30 p.m. Tyree Carroll, 22, was riding his bike on Locust Avenue in Germantown–near his home where he lives with his grandmother Nancy Carroll. According to family members, Tyree was stopped by a police officer for going the wrong way on a one-way street.
When he was stopped by the police officer, Tyree obeyed and got off of his bike and spoke with the officer. The officer then proceeded to put Tyree’s hands behind his back before four policemen were suddenly on top of him. One police officer put Tyree in a chokehold and wrestled him to the ground.
Officers repeatedly struck him with their fists. They kicked him and hit him with a nightstick.
The cops can be heard yelling “tase the motherfucker” and called Tyree a “piece of shit.”
Before long the video shows that there were more cops participating in the beating, tasing, kicking and punching of a screaming Tyree. Tyree was screaming and yelling for his grandmother Nancy to come to the door and can be heard saying that he was sorry.
Witnesses counted 24 white and 2 Black police officers and 11 police cars at the scene. They say Tyree was tased 4 to 5 times before being placed in a police car and taken to Einstein Medical Center. Tyree’s medical records have not been obtained by his family yet.
Two neighbors videotaped the vicious beating on their cell phones. One video was too dark to be useful, but the other captured the incident quite graphically and included a narration by the witness.
Tyree was initially charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and several drug charges stemming from a small amount of crack cocaine allegedly found on him.
At Tyree’s preliminary hearing on June 30 all of the charges were maintained, except for one of the assault charges which was reduced to a second degree felony. His case has been ordered to go to trial. The bail was decreased from $15,000 to $5,000 but Tyree was still ineligible to be released on bail due to a probation violation on a previous case. Tyree’s next court appearance will be his arraignment hearing scheduled for July 21. He is currently being represented by a public defender.
I’m told that the arresting officer was John Ellis with the Philadelphia Police Department’s narcotics squad. Ellis testified at Tyree’s preliminary hearing that the incident began when he allegedly observed a couple of men doing what looked like a drug transaction on the corner of Chew and Chelten in Germantown. Ellis allegedly observed Tyree walking up to and speaking with the men. The officer said he saw no money or goods change hands. Ellis went on to explain when he later saw Tyree on his bike he stopped him saying he was riding his bike the wrong way on a one-way street. Another officer also testified at the preliminary hearing and both cops claim Tyree bit them while trying to get away and claimed they had to go to the hospital and were put on antibiotics. They both admitted to punching and hitting Tyree with billy clubs, but not kicking or tasering him as could be seen in the video. Ellis said he knows Tyree and that “he’s a nice guy” and that when Tyree was in the back of the police car on the way to the hospital following the beating Tyree apologized to him saying “I bad, I bad.”
A member of the Pennsylvania Prison Society was able to visit Tyree Carroll in jail today. I’m told that Tyree is in a lot of pain and is still dealing with his injuries from the April 3 incident. He told the Pennsylvania Prison Society that on the night of the incident, although he was taken to the hospital he wasn’t treated for his injuries. His family is concerned that Tyree, who is asthmatic, is not being treated for his asthma either.
Tyree made it a point to tell the Pennsylvania Prison Society that he wants to make it clear that he admits to biting the officers. According to Tyree, when he was placed in a chokehold his chest began to hurt very bad and he couldn’t breathe. He said that he thought about Eric Garner and dying and his reflexes kicked in and he tried to free his airways the best way he could at the time. Tyree says that he only bit the officers to try and keep from dying because he could not breathe.
His family also wanted me to note that Tyree is also the father of a toddler.
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