Shooting On Heels Of Report That Commissioner Asked Feds To Look Into Department's Use Of Deadly ForceBy Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Police shot and wounded an armed suspect in North Philadelphia on Wednesday.

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The suspect was shot in the back and wounded during an incident in the 2400 block of 4th Street at about 10:30 a.m. The suspect was taken to Temple University Hospital for treatment – a condition was not immediately available.

No officers were injured in the incident.

The shooting comes on the heels of news that Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey has asked federal authorities to look into department’s use of deadly force.

KYW’s Ian Bush reports that a private consultant provided by the US Justice Department will review how the city police force plans for, and responds to, police-involved shootings.

“The men and women of this department are put in areas where we have a high incidence of gun violence and other types of violence, and these are the very people they are confronting on the street,” Ramsey said today.

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Philadelphia police officers have shot fewer people this year than they did by this point in 2012, when there was a nearly 50 percent jump from the year before.

But Ramsey says it’s not about the numbers.

“It’s a question of providing officers with the very latest in terms of training.  And [seeing whether] our review process for these particular cases is appropriate,” he said.

Philadelphia police shot 52 suspects last year, killing 15 of them. In 2011 police wounded or killed 35 people.

On Wednesday, Comissioner Ramsey posted a statement on the Philadelphia Police Department’s Facebook page that read in part:

“I recently took the initiative to inquire into having a study done within this department to review our practices, training and policies regarding police related shootings. I reached out to the COPS office to secure funding and assistance in accomplishing this task. This is not a Department of Justice Audit or Investigation. I am taking a proactive approach to make the Philadelphia Police Department better in this area. The Department has been in the process of working with outside groups to maintain a level of credibility and integrity both within the department and with the public. Consulting with an independent party will ensure credibility and an objective view in this process of evaluating our policies and procedures.

“My primary concern is the sanctity of life equally for members of this department and the public we serve. At no point am I looking to compromise the safety of our Officers; however, researching and implementing the best practices to be used by the department is essential. Utilizing the resources available to our police department to enhance the department is an intelligent and responsible decision, one that is owed to the public and the members of the department.”

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