Friday, June 26, 2020

Did Police Commissioner Taking A Knee Violate Dept. Policy?

The Philadelphia Inquirer/Charles Fox
By Ralph Cipriano

Outside City Hall earlier this month, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw knelt in solidarity with protesters angry about the murder of George Floyd in police custody.

"I'm here not only in solidarity, but in collaboration, in the spirit of partnership, in the spirit of fellowship," she told the protesters on June 6th, who hailed from nine black fraternities and sororities. "I appreciate the spirit of peace that you're bringing here, and the spirit of positivity and collaboration. We will get through this together."

To the protesters, it may have come across as a conciliatory stance, but in taking a knee, along with Deputy Commissioner Melvin Singleton,  Commissioner Outlaw appears to have violated the Philadelphia Police Department's written directives for handling demonstrations and labor disputes.

According to the Police Department's Policy Directive 8.3, Section E, "Police personnel of all ranks shall maintain complete neutrality and objectivity at all times." Section G further states, "Under no circumstances shall the department be made subservient to any group."

How much more subservient can you be if you're taking a knee?

I asked Staff Inspector Sekou Kinebrew, commanding officer of the Philadelphia Police Department's Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations, if the police commissioner's decision to take a knee violated Policy Directive 8.3.

"The directive was not violated," Kinebrew wrote back in an email.

So I sent Kinebrew pictures of Outlaw kneeling and wearing what appears to be a salmon pink and apple green-colored facemark.That's the official colors of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, which is listed on Outlaw's resume. 

I asked Kinebrew if wearing those colors amounted to taking a side in the dispute between protesters and police.

"No," he replied.

So I asked Kinebrew if he was telling me I wasn't seeing what I saw in the photos I sent him.

"No disrespect," he wrote back, "But I'm done commenting on this."

Other cops had different opinions.

"In other words, directives don't apply to the top brass," one cop wrote. "What would happen if a cop took a knee at a KKK rally?"

"How dare they take a knee for an organization that clearly chanted, what do we want, dead cops, when do we want it, now," another cop wrote. "I will never bow to those who disrespect the badge."

"It makes the department look weak," the cop said. "I was sick to my stomach when I saw that happen," the cop said about the kneeling. "Strength comes from standing your ground, not pandering like a fool."

I asked a black cop if he would take a knee for the protesters.

"Hell no," he said. "That's the position of surrender."

And from a tactical point of view, the cop said, "the worst position you can be in is on the ground." If the demonstrators rushed the cops while they were kneeling, they could have grabbed an officer's gun, or his Taser, the cop said. 

The commissioner taking a knee and wearing sorority colors was reminiscent of her first day on the job, when she sported black nail polish in violation of a police department directive that stipulated female officers could only wear clear nail polish.

The very next day the commissioner issued a new directive that did away with the old clear nail polish rule.

For Outlaw, taking a knee and wearing sorority colors was another round of style over substance. Meanwhile, yesterday, the police commissioner and the mayor were making headlines by issuing public apologies for the June 1st tear gassing of protesters who were attempting to block traffic on I-676.

In an email sent to everybody at police headquarters, Outlaw explained her actions by saying when she previously defended the use of tear gas, she was relying on statements from officers that turned out to be "substantially inaccurate." This was especially true, she wrote, after she "personally viewed video evidence" posted by the New York Times that contradicted the police account that the cops were under attack by protesters.

"In making those statements, I relied on information, which was relayed to me after the initial deployment of the described munitions. For that I apologize to those who were directly impacted, to our communities at large and to the members of the Police Department, who have been equally impacted."

At yesterday's press conference, Outlaw introduced Deputy Commissioner Dennis Wilson, who  promptly fell on his sword. 

It was "me and me alone" ordered the tear gas, Wilson confessed, so he was taking a voluntary demotion down to chief inspector.

To many cops, the ritual humiliation of Wilson was hard to watch.

"Translation," wrote one veteran police commander in an email, "I am blaming this on that white Republican asshole Dennis Wilson to skirt any and all responsibility."

"Well, 'Commissioner,' if you weren't hiding in the comfort of your office while the rest of us on the street were getting our asses kicked by the 'peaceful' protesters who were rioting, looting, burglarizing, stealing, vandalizing, taking over the Expressways, committing arson, assaulting police officers, and the list goes on, maybe you would have actually been there, on the front lines, as is expected of a leader, so you could have called the shots," the veteran police commander wrote.

In her email to police headquarters, Outlaw also announced that an officer assigned to the SWAT team who was filmed blasting three civilians sitting on the ground with pepper spray had been given formal notice of a 30-day suspension, with intent to dismiss.

"Translation," the veteran police commander wrote. "We are going to lock up his white male Republican ass to cater to Black Lives Matter and the mob."

Outlaw was taking a pounding in other quarters. On the latest episode of the Philly Prime podcast, Dave Schratwieser of Fox 29 interviewed famous father and son former Philly cops, Michael Chitwood Sr. and Michael Chitwood Jr., who between them have 85 years of police experience.

Schratwieser asked both Chitwoods about their reaction to the Philly riots. 

"I've never seen anything like it in my life," said Chitwood Sr., the retired police superintendent of Upper Darby, who before that was a highly decorated Philly cop. "Philadelphia was not prepared for the violence that occurred."

"What I saw was a complete lack of leadership in Philadelphia from the mayor and the police commissioner and somebody has to own that," said Chitwood Jr. He's currently the sheriff of Volusia County, Florida, and the former police chief of Daytona Beach; before that, Chitwood Jr. was a decorated lieutenant in the Philly PD.

As far as the mayor owning "a complete lack of leadership," fat chance. All Jim "Sanctuary City" Kenney knows how to do is pander and apologize. And hide behind the skirt of his rookie police commissioner. 

After the riots occurred in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd, Chitwood Sr. said, "They [the Philly cops] should have had all hands on deck and they should have been prepared for what happened."

"Had Richie Ross been there as police commissioner this would have never happened," Chitwood Jr. said.

"The playbook was there," Chitwood Jr. said, regarding the police department's handling of the 2016 Democratic National Convention under Ross.

"They had the playbook. For whatever reason, the playbook was discarded," Chitwood Jr. said. "The leadership was completely out of touch and the city paid for it."

Regarding police to protests and riots, Chitwood Jr. said, "History has taught us you can't ramp up."

"You've got to be prepared for the worst," Chitwood Sr. agreed, by having enough troops on the ground. "You have to control the situation. Once you lose control, you've lost . . . And the unfortunate thing was innocent people were hurt, innocent people lost their livelihoods."

Regarding the controversial tear gassing of protesters trying to block I-676, Chitwood Sr. said, "In my opinion they did the right thing."

People aren't considering what could have happened if the protesters were allowed to run amok in traffic and take over the expressway.

Chitwood Sr. also had an opinion about whether Police Commissioner Outlaw should have relied on Deputy Commissioner Wilson to make the decision about whether tear gas should have been used on the protesters.

It involved a leader acting like a leader.
"I think the commissioner should have been out there in front leading and if the order had to be given, she should have given the order," he said.

But instead, Outlaw was AWOL, Wilson made the call and he took the fall.

Chitwood Jr. said Philly's in-over-her-head rookie police commissioner wasn't the city's only problem when it came to law enforcement.

"The entire country looks at your D.A. and knows he's a joke," Chitwood Jr. told Schratwieser about D.A. Larry Krasner.


  1. Thank God someone in this city tells it like it is. Kinebrew is towing the company line, and, because he has no answers, abruptly ends the interview. IMHO, Wilson should have let them have it and hung them out to dry while standing at the mic. I'm sure that he was promised something by the mayor. The PPD, where bosses lead from the rear. Or not at all, in this case

    1. Or Wilson was offered a chance to retire at Deputy Commissioner. Big not, he would be better off retiring and suing the city to be paid at his previous rank

      The Mayor has been reduced to a submissive crawler having his chain pulled by his Mistress. He has no respect for himself and our city. He has lost the respect of his family and friends in South Philly.

      Commissioner Outlaw is exactly an outlaw running the PPD. Her loyalties are not to the Mayor and Police officers serving under her.

      Time to replace Outlaw with the Chitwoods father and son who will run the PPD the way it used to be run serving the good people if Philadelphia and giving the baddies hell!

      We need a new Mayor born with brass balls and leading with the newfound swagger and pride in uplifting our great city

  2. Outlaw's Policies set the table for the Insurrection in Portland and will look weak after the mayhem, now in its planning stage, that she and Jimmy the Stooge have planned from the Perch where her fat ass spreads.

    Mike Chitwood Sr. rose through the Ranks as the Poster Boy for a Corrupt Media and many Lying and Treacherous Mayors.

    Kinebrew is a lightweight compared to Mikey Chit, and his Reign as a Media Manipulator will soon collapse under the debris of this Failed Administration.

  3. If your Police Commander Source had any balls, he would identify himself and join with other "Career Professionals" who are still on the Force and organize a Blue Flu Therapeutic Response to the Provocateurs who Govern this City.

    Their Lives and Careers are being destroyed by the Elected and Appointed Scum who Lead the Law Enforcement Establishment.

    1. I notice that you're anonymous. Any cop who who talks to me is pretty damn brave, actually, because they're risking their jobs.

      A reporter is only as good as his sources. We wouldn't know a thing if they all clammed up.

  4. Her first mistake was ignoring the separation of church and state. She is neutral on religion on duty. Second her job is to observe any gathering for violence or interruption by outsiders and you cannot do that when you are on your knees. Third word has it that she is working out of fire headquarters that if true is an insult to the entire department. And finally was a threat posed before making the Insptctor a scapegoat or did he accept that his decision perfectly correct by all police standards and training was not the right one. As of this date not the Mayor or his puppet commissioner has offered what solution was the proper one and by making an apology solidified a winning case for what will be a thousand lawbreakers to win city money for committing a crime.

  5. The city's leaders are hypocrites. Everybody hates the police but cops are still sitting on details at "leaders" homes. Wasting manpower and over-working cops and detectives so they can be protected by people they don't trust. And they'll keep doing it until it goes public just like City Council did. Who tasks their event with their security? Ridiculous!

  6. She's such a hypocrite. She throws her own people under the bus, public humiliation and let others leave out the back door unnoticed. (BOYLE) Is Kinebrew her boyfriend? He's known to hook up with "new" cadets so this wouldn't be surprising. ALSO is she ever gonna go public and THANK the Officers for all of their perseverance during this Civil unrest?? Hours away from their families?? Inspector Wood was injured as many other officers, what about that?? yet SHE'S DISGUESTED over how un"PEACEFUL" protestors were treated. She's a muppet.

    1. Don't get so cocky with the "let others leave out the back door unnoticed. (BOYLE)." On Monday, June 29, 2020, the Worthless One Outlaw, the Portland Reject, will suspend for 30 days with intent to terminate, a 44 year highly decorated and highly respected Chief Inspector who has been accused by a female Captain who made SURE to indicate in her civil and criminal complaints that she is African American (to try to make some sort of racist claim out of it) that CI Boyle grabbed her by the arms while she was trying to handcuff a person in the station? And she almost fell on the floor and she had to go to the hospital to document her arm hurt. And as a police officer in a police station with alleged police officers as witnesses, she had to file a PRIVATE criminal complaint because the Police on the scene obviously wouldn't take the criminal complaint for some reason. Usually when that happens, it means the complaint is too flimsy or unfounded and the Officers know it isn't worth the time or the paper to take it. And the only reason for this African American Female Captain who already had a civil suit against CI Boyle and the PPD along with other African American female PPD members with rank claiming they were discriminated against in some way or another in their quest to become members of the elite units of the department but it certainly couldn't be they just didn't measure up like thousands of men, white and black and white women, so her case had to be padded to show criminal acts by the CI to "prove" his bias and put some teeth in the civil suit. And Outlaw and Kenney are helping that along by terminating the CI and trying to take his pension. This will most certainly cost the City of Philadelphia MILLIONS! Because they will likely pay off the African American Plaintiffs, then they will get sued by the CI and the FOP and pay for that litigation and pay dearly for that. And why? Kenney is a wimpy butt hole and Outlaw wouldn't know how to administer a police department in LegoLand and she sees everything based on race.

    2. LOL I agree with all you are saying. Calling out a Commissioner for having one walk the plank and not the other is not COCKY!! If you're gonna enact a punishment go across the board is my point. YOU could just express your thoughts less of addressing me. Thank you. Legoland ����

    3. You took this personal, ewh.

  7. It's very sad because I wanted her to succeed. All she has done is divide the Dept. I tried to be positive but pencil nose did hire her so I should not be surprised of her complete ignorance of Police work. I saw a few videos of the 676 incident and it was violent and completely out of control. Apologizing will make the next riot because that was not a protest, must worse. I was mortified when I saw Singleton take a knee. Then for her to do it after was just as horrifying. Leaders do not kneel. You do not bow down to threats. What training did she ever have that told her that was a good idea. You just enabled those maniacs to go further. Now a department I cared so much about is completely ruined. Never saw anyone fail at a job this quickly.

  8. My comments never show ��

  9. The Police Commissioner absolutely violated policy. The Police can never take sides in any type of demonstration. How she could not know this is astounding. She is a disaster for this city but Jimmy will go to the mat for her. He was determined to hire a black female for the job and if he had to go further west to find her he would have been in the Pacific Ocean.

  10. I gave Outlaw the benefit of the doubt for a long time. She seemed to have promise. However, the results are in, and it turns out she is nothing but a coward who perpetually blames others for her inexperience and naïveté. All she does is hide in quarantine, go on vacation, and join the protestors in bashing the cops. Expect crime numbers to go sky high. Don’t worry, she’ll blame the rank and file for that too. It’s what she does best. Actually, it’s all she does...

  11. Seems like these "Bosses" are tumbling down, what's done in the dark comes to light aye. Keep it coming. A lot of bosses and Officers should be worried about now.

  12. We need to know how many police cars were torched, both PPD and PSP. From video shown from a news helicopter,vwe saw a few PPD SUVs torched and many other cars having doors and windows destroyed. How many other PPD cars were totalled due to having door jambs wretched out of alignment.

    Those black anarchists failed to keep in mind how many police cars were used to drive gunshot victims to local hospitals.


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