PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two Philadelphia police officers are facing multiple charges after they allegedly improperly stopped a man and falsified the police report.
Authorities say officers Matthew Walsh and Marvin Jones stopped a man near 100 E. Sharpnack Street, around 10 a.m. on April 17.
According to paperwork filed by the officers, the man was stopped for “apparently using narcotics.” He was also frisked because he failed to take his hands out of his pockets, said the officers. He was ultimately released without charges.
The department’s Internal Affairs Division then investigated the incident after the man filed a complaint against police.
“The investigation revealed some troubling facts. As part of the investigation, internal affairs officers recovered video. The video contradicted much and almost all of the material facts that the officers articulated,” says Captain Sekou Kinebrew with the Philadelphia Police Department.
More disturbingly, according to investigators, the video allegedly showed more than the officers reported.
“The video demonstrated the officers wouldn’t have been in position, to observe whether or not the man was using narcotics or not at the time they approached him. The video also revealed the male citizen was cooperative,” Kinebrew added.
The man that was stopped was actually put in handcuffs, searched, placed in a police vehicle, and then driven about a block away before he was eventually let go.
The reason for that is still puzzlingly unknown.
Investigators say surveillance video showed the man was fully compliant at the time of the stop.
The IAD found Walsh and Jones stopped the man without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, improperly searched the citizen and his vehicle without probable cause, detained the citizen in handcuffs for about 15 minutes, drove him approximately one block away, then released him a minute later.
Afterward, the officers allegedly falsified the police report, according to officials.
“‘How could this have happened?’ Those are questions that are obvious, that are expected to be asked. But what we are hoping is that there is some sort of restorative confidence on the way that this particular one panned out,” Kinebrew adds.
However, the Fraternal Order of Police warns though against making a rash judgment towards the officers.
“We are going to represent them through the whole course of the criminal proceedings. And again make sure that they get there for a day in court. And so they have their story told,” says the president of the FOP, John McNesby.
Walsh and Jones were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy, false imprisonment, tampering with records, obstructing administration of law, and official oppression.
The officers will be dismissed from the department after a 30-day suspension.
The police union says it will represent both officers who are “entitled to due process”.