Monday, April 4, 2016

The D.A.'s Dog And Pony Show And The Piles He Left Behind

By Ralph Cipriano

The D.A. put on quite a dog and pony show today.

But when the dog and pony departed the stage, they left behind a few fragrant manure piles.

The first pile dropped when the D.A. and four assistant district attorneys told a room full of reporters and TV camera crews that the Feb. 7th brawl at the Recess Lounge, featuring Shady McCoy and a couple of off-duty cops, was just another routine case. And that the D.A. treated it just like he would any other investigation. As in, just the facts, ma'am.

Yeah, right. We're talking about a barroom brawl over a $350 bottle of pink champagne that featured a celebrity pro football player and a couple of off-duty cops who got beaten up. It's a story that made it onto WIP, TMZ and ESPN, as well as The Washington Post, and every pro football blog in the country.

Our D.A. is a well-known publicity hound. And we all know that R. Seth Williams doesn't devote nine weeks and assign at least a half-dozen ADAs and a bunch of detectives to investigate every barroom brawl.

So please Mr. D.A., don't try and tell us what we're smelling after your press conference is a bunch of daisies.

The D.A. dropped his next stinker when he pretended that his office treated a trio of off-duty cops involved in the brawl just like they would any other average ordinary citizens.

Sifting through the manure piles, it's clear that there was plenty of credible evidence that Officer Roland Butler may have started the fight.

The D.A. admitted that Officer Butler grabbed former Pitt running back Tamarcus Porter by the collar, and then by the throat. Somehow, the D.A. said, sounding mystified, both men wound up on the ground where many witnesses saw Officer Butler, all 6-foot-4 and at least 250 pounds of him, on top of the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Porter, the D.A. told reporters.

When the bouncers threw Butler out of the Recess Lounge, along with Porter and Officer Darnell Jessie, another off-duty cop, two on-duty Philadelphia police officers were standing outside the club, Williams said. And what did they see? That Officer Butler was "the person being the most aggressive outside," according to the D.A.

"I want the guy with the dreads, I want the guy with the dreads" is what witnesses supposedly overheard Officer Butler saying about his desire to get even with Porter.

Williams and his assistant D.A.s made a big deal at the press conference out of saying that they couldn't prosecute the case because of "insufficient evidence." A big part of that evidence, Williams said, was that only two of the 27 witnesses the D.A. interviewed gave statements about how the brawl actually started. And those two witnesses completely contradicted each other.

It took a while for reporters to decode who Williams  and his assistants were talking about because they didn't identify the brawl participants by name or by occupation, as in off-duty cops.

But as the dog and pony show generated more and more fertilizer, it became clear that the only two witnesses who gave statements to the D.A. about how the brawl started were those two off-duty cops who were right in the middle of the fracas, none other than Officers Butler and Jessie!

It's amazing that the two cops couldn't get their story straight.

Officer Jessie, according to Williams, "didn't know how he got hurt, didn't know who hurt him, didn't even know he was hurt." But whether the officer suffered a concussion or was blind drunk, we'll never know.

But let's get back to the D.A.'s investigators. Do you think they would have gotten a third opinion about who started the fight if they talked to Tamarcus Porter?

Oh wait, they didn't do that.

That's right, they didn't talk to Porter, the guy who had Officer Butler's hands around his throat, according to Dennis Cogan, Shady McCoy's lawyer, who conducted his own investigation of the fracas.

"If this case had ever come to court we would have pointed fingers at the off duty police officers," Cogan said. But Cogan's client had just side-stepped a criminal indictment that would have resulted in the star running back having to forfeit at least $18 million of the guaranteed money in his $40 million contract with the Buffalo Bills. So Cogan could afford to be in a charitable mood.

In his opinion, Cogan said, the D.A.'s investigation "should have been terminated earlier." But "Look, it turned out right."

When the district attorney's prosecutors and detectives talked to Cogan and McCoy during a voluntary interview on Feb. 23rd, Cogan said he passed around the table a few "eye-popping photos" of some fearsome bruises on Porter's neck.

Cogan also told the D.A. about a witness who saw Sgt. Daniel Ayres, the third off-duty inside the Recess Lunge, allegedly reach for a black 9 mm pistol in a holster on his right hip.

"Shady, he's a cop," the witness told McCoy.

That witness talked to Cogan's investigators. But at the D.A.'s press conference, one assistant D.A. went out of his way to tell reporters that they didn't rely on Cogan's investigation, and interview many of the witnesses that Shady's lawyer dug up. Instead, the ADA said, they conducted their own independent investigation and found their own witnesses. In addition to other witnesses who came forward on their own.

That's great but why not talk to all the witness at the Recess Lounge? Even the ones Cogan gave you. Were they somehow tainted? Were you afraid of hearing something that you didn't want to hear?

After the dog and pony show was over, I asked the D.A.'s guys if they ever  talked to any witness who saw one of the cops with a gun.

No, they didn't, they said.

As far as Cogan was concerned, the D.A.'s dog and pony show was OK because it showed his guy didn't do anything wrong.

"He [McCoy] didn't start the fight, he didn't provoke the fight," Cogan said. And McCoy didn't see who started the fight either.

"All he saw was a big guy on top of his friend with his hands on his friend's throat," Cogan said.
"What's he supposed to do?"

If McCoy didn't try to break up the fight, Cogan said, "the whole country would be talking about what a coward he is."

While the district attorney claimed that all the participants in the brawl had been drinking heavily, Cogan disputed that.

"My guy was not drunk," Cogan said. "He had like two sips of Hennessy. He's not a drinker; he's never been into drinking."

When McCoy voluntarily met with the D.A. on Feb. 23rd, he was emotional and teary-eyed.

He has friends who are cops, he said. He would never want to hurt a cop. But Officer Butler, who was in plainclothes that night, did not behave like a cop at the Recess Lounge, McCoy told the D.A. No, Officer Butler acted more like a thug.

At the press conference, in addition to the fragrant piles he left behind, the D.A. dropped a few last nuggets before he left the podium.

At the Recess Lounge, the D.A. said, they have a special deal, buy three bottles of champagne for $350 each, and, "You get the fourth bottle free."

So instead of running up a $1,400 bar tab, the off-duty cops spent only $1,050, according to our cost-concious D.A.
The artist formerly known as Rufus

Also, when the D.A. is running an investigation, he might as well be wearing a beret on his shaved head.

That's because when this D.A. investigates a crime, he told reporters, he and his guys are painting a portrait. And every time they talk to a new witness, they're splashing some fresh paint on the canvas.

When the D.A. was talking about his investigation of the brawl at the Recess Lounge, he grew rhapsodic, comparing it to a "Pablo Picasso painting."

I kid you not.

The D.A. may be right about being an artist.

 But instead of paint and canvas, his medium is bullshit.

Melee At The Recess Lounge 


  1. It will be interesting to see what internal affairs does now with Butler and friends if anything.

  2. I can not believe "Sgt." Ayers is still on the force. A huge disgrace to the badge. His thuggery must come to an end. This isn't his first incident and it will not be his last. He has a long history of wrongful arrests and abusing his badge. I guess waving a gun in public while drunk is acceptable police work by McNesby's standards...

  3. you are spot on, Ralph. It's one thing to take no action for political reasons but when the DA acts as if he conducted a serious and thoughtful investigation then it is a dog and pony show.

  4. What else is new, this is how prosecutors operate, not interviewing witness that could help a defendant, tape recordings and 302s of exculpatory evidence suddenly go missing or are destroyed. This is how they do business, win at all costs.

    Thanks for bringing to light that prosecutors play by a different set of rules than the rest of us,rules which we are supposed to abide by under penalty of law.

    What I have been trying to work out is how they get all the DAs and federal prosecutors to overlook facts in a case, to manipulate findings, knowing what they are doing is eroding justice. What are the qualifications to be a prosecutor ? Must one swear some allegiance to win at all costs, it certainly is not to uphold justice.
    The veil of honesty and integrity is slipping from justice departments across the country,with each new exoneration more is exposed of how deep the actual conspiracy really runs.
    The public has been awakened to the injustices that have taken place within the justice department, too bad the justice department does not feel compelled to do follow the law.
    It really is an us against them type of situation in this country, prosecutors believe they could never be wrong,or think they did anything wrong, or ever admit to purposely incriminating a defendant.

  5. Are you still mad u didn't ride in the parade in the Bentley?

    Laurie Goodstein April 4, 2016

    Found the article on the Marshall Project today, very good. Here is a small portion of the article .

    "Nevertheless, in the state capital, calls for full disclosure and accountability suddenly have new momentum. State Representative Mike Vereb, a Republican and a former police officer from the Philadelphia area, wrote a letter recently to the United States attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania calling for an investigation under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act, known as RICO.

    “This failure was colossal. It was nothing less than organized crime,” Mr. Vereb said in an interview in his office, where he keeps his old nightstick on his desk. “There was no chance, if you were a victim, that you were going to get justice.”

    A flurry of negotiations has begun over bills that had been stalled for years to extend the statute of limitations for both civil and criminal cases of child sexual abuse. Abuse victims and their advocates have long argued that just as there is no statute of limitations on murder, there should be none on the sexual abuse of children.

    The legislator leading the charge to extend the statute of limitations is State Rep resentative Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Berks County. Still boyish at 44, he is haunted by memories of being raped by a priest in middle school — a priest he later learned went on to sexually abuse some of his friends. He said he decided to run for office in 2013 after the second of those friends committed suicide. On Good Friday a year ago, a third friend also took his own life.

  7. Thank you anonymous however I don't believe this is the type of reality that would interest Ralph Cipriano.

    If Ralph had no interest in Chaput spending tens of thousands of dollars trying to fight changes in the SOL laws your information will not interest him.

    He believes clergy sexual abuse begins and ends inside a court room and I would have no doubt he thinks of himself as a expert on the subject.

    I tell him get your head out of the sand you are far from being an expert.

  8. What does the RICO Act and SOL have to do with Shady McCoy?

    1. Sorry it was meant to be posted in the section under Cardinal B. As I read The Marshall Project everyday, I just wanted to bring that article to your attention for the sake of good journalism. Reading The Marshall Project website has opened my eyes to many injustices that take place on all levels.

      Some of the best articles I have read are:

      Why do prosecutors go after innocent people ? Washington Post article by John Pfaff dated Jan 21,2015

      When District Attorneys Attack. The National Review by Kevin D. Williams May 31,2015

      The presumption of innocence exists in theory, not in reality. The Washington Post by Keith Findley Jan 19,2015

      Time to Tame Prosecutors Gone Wild by Sidney Powell Feb. 23,2015
      The only objection I have is when they very occasionally print an article by the Inquirer=Feds,thats when they get it wrong.

    2. I wonder if a defendant can use the Rico act against prosecutors as they work for an organization set up to work against a defendant. The FBI, IRS and media all work for the same organization, a defendant has no chance of being found innocent.
      Should team prosecution have to make a disclosure to the court saying that they personally benefit in some way if they get a conviction ? Other professions have to make a full disclosure if they in any way benefit from a sale or transaction where they benefit or reap rewards.
      Being reelected, getting a promotion are all benefits prosecutors reap from a conviction.
      Would love to see a prosecutors stand before a jury and say," my career will benefit greatly if I am able to convict this defendant."

    3. Sidney Powell wrote a kickass book about that subject, License to Lie.

      It's a real eye opener.

    4. Mr. Cipriano,
      I was cruising the Philly Internet Journal/Publications for someone who seems like they are not interesting in being another press lapdog for the Philadelphia D.A., Mayor, etc. There was a recent article that I was following, and not pleased by what these "journalists" were feeding the public. Based on the way you write, you seem like a man who would pursue a story that members of the public find odd.

      This isn't my area of expertise, but followed this story, the concerns of this man's ex-wife, and what appears to be the concerns of his colleagues, who cannot sign their name publicly, like myself. I find the circumstances surrounding Lt. Testa's death odd, immoral and not happy with the way the reporters portrayed him.

      I was wondering if there is one reporter in this city, willing to take down The Machine, which makes polices, then throws The Police under the bus. Some of my statements about Seth Williams, were actually removed. They were not threatening, but put him in his place, using my degree, brain and anger. Whatever happened to Freedom Of Speech ?

      Here is the link -

    5. Jane, I've been checking in on that story and the comments are way more interesting than the story. I actually know one of Lt. Testa's relatives and cannot believe what I am hearing. I can be reached at

      Here's the basic problem with the Inquirer and Daily News -- they function as the press office for prosecutors and they do not bite the hands that feed them.

  9. Because what you wrote sucks. We get it already you don't like Williams. Its obvious you most likely think the guy can't even shit straight.

    Your trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Its simple. Three cops who could not use the brains God gave them thought they were big spenders and got the shit kicked out of them for acting like asses. No charges will be filed against either side.


  10. You're always back in grade school, aren't you? It's who likes who, who doesn't like who.

    You really seem unable to grasp factual concepts. I have explained using one example after another that the D.A. is us here.

    If you were in a fight and the cops only interviewed the other guy, would you be wondering whether their investigation was thorough? How about if they took nine weeks to do it, and still didn't get around to interviewing you?

    You seem to think that you're some journalistic arbitrator who gets to decide when a STORY IS OVER.

    They're still talking about the Kennedy assassination. Is that story over? Who the hell are you except a one-note guy whose sole public mission on this blog is to crusade on behalf of victims of sexual abuse [real and imagined] and against the church.

    Your time is over.

  11. Update: On Angelo Cataldi's show Wednesday morning, Cataldi asked Williams about a Big Trial report that the D.A. did not interview Tamarcus Porter. After a brief hesitation, the D.A. replied, "that's correct."

    But whether the D.A. tried to interview Porter or not is unknown. Porter's lawyer, Michael F. Giampietro, declined to comment on the case.


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