According to an exclusive journalistic report by Billy Penn and WHYYY about the database of Philadelphia cops expressing hate, intolerance, violence and xenophobia on Facebook, most of those involved had at least one civil complaint since 2015.
The records were obtained through an information request filed by WHYY and Billy Penn. They show that 153 of the officials who appeared in the Facebook database, compiled by a group called the Plain View Project, have accrued at least one civilian complaint since 2015. Some of the officers have previously been identified by their extensive complaint histories
According to the editorial material, the newly released records detail the civilian complaint histories for 309 of the 323 active duty Philadelphia officers who also appeared in a database of racist or offensive Facebook posts.
Journalists Max Marin and Ryan Briggs, got statements from Captain Sekou Kinebrew, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Police Department, who said the latest publication of disciplinary records is the largest disclosure of its kind in the department’s history.
“As best as I can determine, we have not released this volume of civilian complaint numbers pursuant to a singular request,” Kinebrew said.
According to Pennsylvania reporters, a total of 338 complaints were presented by civilians against this group of officers in the past five years. They alleged misconduct ranging from minor departmental violations to purportedly criminal acts.
However, 160 other officials from the Facebook database had not received any civilian complaints at all. They also pointed out that the Department did not publish the records for 14 other officials, stating that they could not be located.
The journalistic work specifies that of those mentioned in the latest release, 12th District Officer Marc B. Marchetti tops the list. “The patrolman has been named in 16 different civil complaints since 2015 – about one complaint every three to four months. In that same period, the vast majority of PPD officers received zero or one complaint, according to a WHYY analysis of complaint data.”
Civilian complaints against Marchetti include multiple physical abuse and harassment allegations, including several involving juveniles. Internal Affairs ordered training and counseling for Marchetti in three cases for violating lesser departmental
Marchetti is appears in the Facebook database for a comment he made in 2015 on a post about a woman reportedly fending off home invaders with a firearm.
“Would have been better to see at least one guy shot in the head,” Marchetti wrote.
WHYYY and Billy Pen’s work points out that police officers have condemned many of the more harsh posts cited in the database, while downplaying the severity of others.
After the Plain View project publication, the head of the police union defended much of the content by explaining that the messages were “cops being cops and venting”. However, Commissioner Richard Ross has placed 72 officers on desk duty while their social media histories are investigated.
It should also be remembered that Ross promised that some of these unnamed officers would be fired in an attempt to restore public confidence in the scandal-rocked department. Spokesman Kinebrew declined to say if police brasses are reviewing each officer’s disciplinary history along with their social media messages.
Civilian complaints linked to “Facebook cops.”
Billy Penn and WHYYY published an 11-page document containing data on Philadelphia cops involved in hate messaging through Facebook. Always with professional respect, we will only publish the first screenshot of the list:
Translated by: José Espinoza