The protests that began on Monday, Oct. 26 lasted through the week, with a heavy police presence at every event. On Thursday of that week, the largest police union in the country, the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), posted a photo on their social media pages of a young female cop seeming to comfort a very young black child. The post was accompanied with text saying that the child had been “lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness. The only thing this Philadelphia Police Officer cared about in that moment was protecting this child. We are not your enemy. We are the Thin Blue Line. And WE ARE the only thing standing between Order and Anarchy.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer was able to get its hands on video shot by Aapril Rice that night and it showed, very definitively, that the only thing true in FOP’s social media post was that the block Ms. Young happened to turn down was “experiencing complete lawlessness.” However, the complete lawlessness was entirely the result of an abusive and out-of-control police force.
Young was separated from her child for “hours” and taken into custody. She ended up at the hospital being treated for her bruised, bloody face, and was subsequently released with zero charges. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a police officer and sergeant were fired, and 15 other officers still await disciplinary proceedings for their part in the terrorizing of a mother and her child.
A Police Department spokesperson said Sgt. David Chisholm, a 13-year veteran who worked in the 26th Police District, was fired for violating departmental policies, including inappropriate communications or conduct while on duty, use of force, and lying or attempting to deceive during a departmental investigation.
Police Officer Darren Kardos, a seven-year veteran who worked in the 19th Police District, was fired for excessive use of force and physical abuse with a baton.
At a press conference announcing the settlement, Young said, “I will never forget what those officers did to us that night. I hope that the officers responsible will never have the chance to do something like this to another person ever again.” Young’s attorneys have called for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to pursue criminal charges against all officers involved. Krasner has been pretty wishy washy about the whole thing, telling news outlets that “When you have a situation that is somewhat fluid on the street it is more difficult to reconstruct exactly what officer was where, when.”
Krasner was equally cagey when asked by The New York Times about the more than a dozen law enforcement officers that are suspected of participating in this videotaped crime. “It would be inappropriate under the law for us to comment on whether or not an investigation exists at this time. At a later time, we will have more to say.” The DA went on to point to “grainy cellphone footage” making it difficult to see details that would help a “criminal investigation.”
Young is also suing the Fraternal Order of Police. “The pain of seeing those images of my son in the arms of an officer and a horrible caption written to describe that picture may never heal,” Young told reporters at the press conference on Tuesday. Philadelphia police say they have been unable to find out who took the photo of the apparent child abuse they were inflicting on Young’s child.