Thursday, January 28, 2021

Controller's Report Buys Big Lie About Outlaw & Use Of Tear Gas

By Ralph Cipriano

The city controller's independent review of Philadelphia's complete mismanagement of the George Floyd protests properly faults the Kenney administration for a "failure of leadership at the highest levels."

But that same controller's report issued yesterday gives Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw a complete pass on a big lie: that Outlaw supposedly never gave the final order for the cops to fire tear gas on June 1st at protesters who were illegally blocking traffic during rush hour on the Vine Street Expressway.

At the June 25th press conference, then-Deputy Police Commissioner Dennis Wilson stepped up to the microphone as Kenney and Outlaw watched, and took sole responsibility for authorizing the use of tear gas. 

"I didn't call the commissioner, I gave the  approval," Wilson said. "And it was me and me alone."

As Big Trial has previously reported, however, what Wilson had to say was complete B.S.; a phony story concocted to get both Kenney and Outlaw off the hook. Because that morning, both Kenney and Outlaw were under fire from the mighty New York Times for teargassing those allegedly peaceful protesters who were illegally blocking traffic during rush hour on the Vine Street Expressway.

Kenney, as the controller's report notes, had reluctantly signed off on allowing Outlaw to use tear gas before the George Floyd protests ever got started. 

Outlaw's cover story, swallowed by the entire gullible press corps, was that Wilson acted alone when he gave the final order to use tear gas. And that poor Danielle, who had just come to Philadelphia four months earlier from Portland, where, as police commissioner, she had previously authorized the teargassing of protesters, didn't have a thing to do with what happened on the Vine Street Expressway. 

She was just an innocent bystander. Even though according to the controller's report, she was standing right there at the scene, watching the crowd from an overpass, when the teargassing started.

Cops say the real story goes further than that. 

According to several police sources, is "She [Outlaw] knew ALL about it [the teargassing], and in typical fashion, she abdicated all responsibility, and blamed it on poor Dennis Wilson," one veteran commander told Big Trial. "The entire department knows this."

The real story is that Dennis Wilson, described by his fellow cops as the ultimate company man, both sought and received final approval from Outlaw before the tear gas canisters started flying. Even though as deputy commissioner, technically, Wilson didn't need Outlaw's permission to deploy tear gas. 

As Big Trial has previously reported, there were witnesses with both Wilson and Outlaw at the time the teargassing went down, as well as numerous texts exchanged between top cops that would tell the real story.

But the controller's office subcontracted out its independent investigation, and so that report never looked at whether the police commissioner's official alibi was B.S.

On June 4, 2020, City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart announced that her office would conduct “an independent review of the City of Philadelphia’s operational and resource deployment and tactics during the civil unrest that followed George Floyd’s murder.” 

To conduct that independent review, the Controller hired Ballard Spahr LLP, a politically connected Philadelphia law firm, and AT-RISK International, LLC of Fairlawn, Ohio, a risk management consulting firm.

"The report itself details the accounts and facts discovered during the investigation by Ballard Spahr LLP. And of course, the information was provided to the investigation team by the city," said Genevieve Greene, a spokesperson for the controller's office.

"For us, the major takeaway is that the city needs better policies and clearer accountability when making decisions around the use of CS [tear] gas."

Be forewarned: The controller's report is written from an entirely Progressive point of view, that protesters are righteous and peaceful, and that cops are racist and prone to brutality.

It begins in the first paragraph of the introduction with the contention that George Floyd was "murdered" by the police. But that contention ignores the "incontrovertible" physical and scientific evidence in the case, as documented by former federal prosecutor and Philadelphia lawyer George Parry in the American Spectator.

As Parry has written, when the cops showed up, "George Floyd was well on his way to dying from a self-administered drug overdose."According to a toxicology report, prior to his arrest, Floyd had ingested "over three times the potentially lethal limit of fentanyl," as well as a "lesser dose of methamphetamine, which can cause paranoia, respiratory distress, coma and death."

Police body cameras showed that Floyd was incoherent, foaming at the mouth, and repeatedly complaining that he couldn't breathe before the cops began to restrain him. Parry also quotes from autopsy findings that none of Floyd's physical injuries could account for his death. 

But in the controller's report, after the cops murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis, that atrocity was followed by the"horrific" use of tear gas on peaceful protesters in Philadelphia. The controller's report also laments our country's "deeply racist" history, and the "larger deep-seated problem of structural racism in a system where advantage is based on race."

If you get through all that, however, the controller's report does call out the mayor, saying that as the city's highest ranking official, he should have made the final decision on whether to deploy tear gas.

But according to the controller's report, Kenney didn't even have the guts to talk to any of the controller's hired investigators.

"The Investigation Team requested to interview the Mayor, but he, through a representative, declined, offering instead to provide written responses to a pre-approved set of written questions," the controller's report says. 

"The Mayor did offer to sit for an interview if the questions were provided in advance and follow-up questions were submitted in writing. Under the constraints dictated, the Investigation Team did not proceed with an interview."

At the June 25th press conference, after he gave his mea culpa, former deputy police commissioner Wilson announced that for "violating the rules of engagement and the commissioner's trust, I'm going to take a voluntary demotion" to chief inspector.

"Falling on the sword," was how Outlaw characterized the human sacrifice of Wilson.

But, as Big Trial has previously reported, before he decided to become the police department's official fall guy, Wilson had been threatened with arrest by cop-hating District Attorney Larry Krasner. 

The price for taking a voluntary demotion was an annual pay cut of about $30,000. But Wilson was worried about his pension, as well as a future DROP bonus. Under the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, an employee's pension benefits are frozen the day he enrolls in DROP, and the day he walks out the door, he collects a six-figure cash bonus. 

In Wilson's case, regardless of the demotion and cut in pay, he would still get to retire in a couple of years with his full pension plus his DROP cash bonus of about $800,000. But if the D.A. indicted and convicted Wilson of a crime, Wilson risked losing his pension benefits.

So he caved, and agreed to be the fall guy.

The June 25th press conference was a grovel fest, featuring top city officials bowing before The New York Times, and pandering to the Progressive local press corps. 

At the press conference, Outlaw "humbly" apologized to those peaceful demonstrators and announced that she was "disgusted" and "sickened beyond description" by the horrors that she saw on a video posted by the Times.

"I'm as disturbed as the commissioner," Kenney agreed, before he silently watched the official scapegoating of Wilson, who took the entire blame for teargassing the protesters on the Vine Street Expressway. 

About the use of tear gas, the city controller's report says:

The Police Commissioner explained that although she did not believe that she needed authorization from the Mayor prior to approving use of CS gas, she nevertheless had consulted with the Mayor earlier that afternoon about its potential use. 

She chose to do so because when the Mayor interviewed her for the position, the Mayor indicated that he was aware that CS gas and other less-than-lethal munitions were used in Portland in response to protests.

He [Kenney] explained the Department historically did not utilize CS gas against large gatherings, and he personally opposed its use. Yet, when confronted with the potential use of CS gas in the unfolding unrest, the Mayor, while hesitant, ultimately supported its use if absolutely necessary. 

With this background, and observing the conditions on 52nd Street in real time, the Police Commissioner authorized the deployment of CS gas without further consulting the Mayor.

The very next day, when the protesters invaded the Vine Street Expressway, according to the controller's report, Outlaw was right there at the scene:

The Police Commissioner reported that as the crowd made its way onto the highway, she was parked on one of the overpasses above I-676. She stated that a Deputy Commissioner – the same Deputy Commissioner who sought and received from the Police Commissioner authorization to deploy CS gas the day earlier [on 52nd Street] – called her to discuss the situation on the highway. 

According to her, the two discussed the potential use of CS gas, however, she said that she directed him to call her before deploying it. Shortly thereafter, and although she had not given explicit approval, she recalled hearing that it had been deployed on the highway . . . 

The Police Commissioner reported directing a Deputy Commissioner to call her for authorization before deploying CS gas that afternoon. However, she too learned that the CS gas had been deployed in real time over police radio. According to the Police Commissioner, she did not authorize its use. 

The controller's report does call Outlaw out on one discrepancy over the use of tear gas, when Outlaw previously met with members of the police department's SWAT team:

Despite SWAT’s historical lack of involvement in the Department’s response to civil unrest and protests, it was staged in a location near the Convention Center in Center City on May 30th. 

Two City officials noted that the Police Commissioner made a request to the UCG [the city's Unified Command Group] that afternoon to use CS gas in response to the unrest that began in front of the MSB [Municipal Services Building] and devolved into mass looting in Center City. Both of these officials reported that the UCG quickly dismissed this request. 

The Commissioner does not recall making such a request, but does not deny that it occurred, noting that approval was not given, as CS gas was not used on the 30th. 

The city's Unified Command Group included top Kenney administration officials such as Outlaw, former city managing director Brian Abernathy, the fire commissioner, the mayor's chief of staff, and the city solicitor, among others. 

The controller's report also details that top city officials waited until the day before the George Floyd protesters invaded Philadelphia to start planning on how to control the protests and riots that ensued. As a consequence, the reports, when the protests and riots began, the Police Department was seriously understaffed.

When the controller's investigators interviewed then-Managing Director Brian Abernathy, he was backpedaling all the way.

According to the controller's report, Abernathy "did not believe that there was a way to plan for the type of unrest that the city experienced, despite a blueprint existing from past practices of the city."

Abernathy, according to the controller, claimed that there was no way the "city could have prepared for the type of unrest" that the George Floyd protests/riots brought to town. "He [Abernathy] insisted that there was no way" to prepare and that the city "did its best while things were unfolding."

According to the controller's report, Outlaw was similarly clueless. 

"The Police Commissioner initially shared this view, testifying on October 20, 2020 before City Council that there was 'no playbook' or 'reference'" for the George Floyd riots. But during her interview with the controller, Outlaw "acknowledged that the City could have better planned for the events that occurred on May 30th."

The police commissioner also told the City Council that there “was no specific intelligence, specific to Philadelphia,” the report says, that predicted "the unrest would be as violent and destructive as it was." 

But, the city controller's report says, in the media there were multiple reports about violence at George Floyd protests in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Chicago and Memphis. And, the city controller's report said, Philadelphia did have intelligence that the George Floyd protests would have a "significant impact upon Philadelphia."

The city controller's report quotes one supervisor as saying, "There was enough intelligence throughout open source media on what was happening throughout the country regarding riots. The approach taken to planning for this detail completely underestimated what was going to happen and left us woefully underprepared. Had we been better prepared, we would not have lost the city the way we did."

"Another officer agreed with this assessment, noting under the 'planning' section of his after action report: 'Was there any? Department appeared completely unprepared, despite violent protests and rioting in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Portland, Seattle and Atlanta, prior to scheduled protest,' ” the controller's report states.

And contrary to what Outlaw told the City Council, the city controller's report noted, the city did have a playbook for how to handle large gatherings. And that playbook was successfully deployed during Pope Francis's 2015 visit to the city, and the Eagles 2018 Super Bowl victory parade. 

In addition, the police department had handled previous demonstrations that spread to Philadelphia over the 2014 death of Michael Brown in police custody in Ferguson, and the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in police custody in Baltimore.

The problem was that Mayor Kenney had previously purged the police department of its former leadership that had devised and knew how to implement the playbook, including former Police Commissioner Richard Ross, and Deputy Police Commissioner Joe Sullivan. 

And Kenney replaced those leaders with Outlaw.

The city controller's report prompted the editorial board of The Philadelphia Inquirer today to demand that Mayor Kenney call on Outlaw to resign. To which the First Street Journal humorously replied, "The Editors of The Philadelphia Inquirer blame the puppet, not the puppet master!"

Outlaw should resign. In a city that had 499 murders last year, and 47 murders over the first 28 days of this year, she is as clueless about how to stop the killing as she was about how to stop the riots, looting and arson fires that accompanied those peaceful George Floyd protests.

As a low-profile, introverted West Coast native who's usually out of sight behind her desk, Outlaw has the completely wrong personality to take on an in-your-face town like Philly. She also has completely mismanaged the police department from day one.

But her hire was a cynical political ploy that was all about the optics, and a woke mayor playing to the  holy trinity of Progressive Democratic cult values -- race, sex and diversity.

The failure of leadership involving the George Floyd riots can be directly blamed on Kenney's gutting of the Police Department's previous competent leadership, and replacing that with the hiring of Outlaw.

It's all Kenney's fault; he's the one who should resign. But in a corrupt and contented city that's been under one-party Democratic rule for the past 69 years, neither Kenney nor Outlaw is going anywhere.

At a press conference today, Outlaw announced that she had just got through conferring with the "mayor and other city leaders," and that they had expressed their support for her to stay on as police commissioner.

"I have not been asked to resign nor will I resign due to the report's findings," she said.

She stated that she appreciated the "thoroughness" of the controller's report, and acknowledged that some of the report's findings were "difficult to face." 

But contrary to what the controller said, Outlaw insisted there was no "blueprint" in the Philadelphia Police Department for how to handle protests on the magnitude of the George Floyd variety, and that what happened in Philadelphia last summer was "unprecedented."

"However, the PPD is a learning organization, and such reports provide us with a better understanding of previous shortcomings," she said, so that the department will be "better prepared for the future."

She criticized the report for not enumerating all of the physical injuries to cops during the protests/riots, when they were pelted with "acid, urine, bricks, bottles and various other objects." 

She also complained that it was "disingenuous" and "repugnant" for the controller to draw parallels to the 1985 MOVE bombing, which was the last time city police deployed tear gas on its own citizens.

According to Outlaw, it was "editorial dialogue" for the controller to "politicize" her report by comparing the George Floyd protests with MOVE, when a former mayor and police commissioner dropped a bomb on their own citizens. 

After her prepared remarks, the police commissioner opened up the press conference to questions from reporters. 

"I'm not gonna rush you, don't worry about time," she said. But she seemed flustered and unprepared for the ferocity of what followed. In response to questions from the aroused press corps, Outlaw also began contradicting some of the stated facts in the controller's report that pertained to her own actions.

The decision to use tear gas "was not predetermined," she said, but she added that she couldn't provide more details because the police response to the protests is still the subject of an internal police investigation, among numerous other ongoing investigations.

At the press conference, reporters repeatedly questioned Outlaw regarding her whereabouts during the George Floyd protests/riots. And the details Outlaw gave contradicted what she had previously told the controller.

"I was out there in the field," Outlaw said, but she denied that she was at the scene of the Vine Street protests when the teargassing occurred. 

"I wasn't on the overpass and then the gas had been deployed," she said. "I heard it over the air. I heard that the gas had been deployed."

By the time she reached the overpass, Outlaw said, "Everything had already occurred at that point."

She admitted, "We were woefully understaffed" during the protests. But according to the police commissioner, it was teaching moment, both for her and the department. 

A teaching moment that left the city smoldering from unrestrained rioting, looting and arson fires.

"We're all learning from our mistakes," Outlaw said. "We will weather this storm together and we will continue to work through this."

This is what you get for $285,000 a year when you import a top cop from Portland. 

Jeff Cole of Fox 29 had some tough questions for Outlaw, inquiring about her conversation with the mayor and other leaders about whether she should resign.

"Are you concerned that there is growing concern of whether you can run this department, and whether you've got a full handle on this department?" he asked.

"No I don't have concern about that," she shot back. "And, quite frankly, this has been a helluva year."  

As far as the press conference was going, Outlaw decided it was time to cut it short. 

"I have time for two more" [questions] she told reporters. 

One of those questions came from Jeff Cole, who lobbed a rhetorical grenade by openly questioning Outlaw's competence as a leader on the day of the Vine Street Expressway teargassing.

 "Do you think you led that day?" he asked.

"I do think I led that day," she stated. And then she went into a brief but flustered defense of her first year as police commissioner.

"Do I deserve to be here?" she asked rhetorically. "Absolutely, and then some."

She thanked reporters for showing up, and then she abruptly left the podium. 


  1. The fact that this is/was being investigated at all is laughable. We're talking about tear gas as if they were bullets being fired. Tear gas is meant to be a humane way to control unruly crowds, which this crowd was.

    It's also missing a ton of information/context, which already established that the protests were fully capable of erupting into violence again at any moment:

    - The riots from the previous day which included arson of peoples' homes (eg. 17th and Walnut), businesses, etc.
    - Looting
    - Countless destruction of property
    - Jumping onto a highway risking others' lives, preventing emergency vehicles/ambulances from coming through, etc.

  2. Jeff Cole, stepping up with a REAL question............

  3. Ralph, Kudos to Jeff Cole asking the tough questions! He probably will be banned from any future press conferences! Lol. Punk ass Kenney wouldn't meet with investigators? What a pussy! I bet if they said we can meet at Rosewood Bar or Race St cafe he would be there in a minute!!! Hand picked Outlaw. Who else did they interview??? Keep the pressure on KrAssner!! Let's not forget he is the Big Fish to fry in the Primary!!! Looks like Krasner Listenbee and Rocks will be sweating bullets soon!! What happened to Vince Rotundi??? Gun taken away 2 weeks ago ando still getting paid!!! Fire that little weasel!!!!

  4. The whole department knows the truth!!

    1. And, thanks to Ralph Cipriano, so do we. Just as we all know that the Philadelphia Inquirer is so sad and pathetic, and the epitome of "fake news." Apparently they've assigned three liberal bootlickers to cover this developing story, and their coverage usually seems to have been copied almost word-for-word from a submission a day earlier by Big Trial. Hell, PetSmart ain't even using the Inquirer for the cat cages anymore. They say it was stinking the joint up worse than the actual cat piss. Thanks again, Ralph. You are a true warrior.

  5. Outlaw is a Perfect Candidate to serve in the Biden Dawg Pound and is hanging on and won't resign in disgrace.

    She is posturing to Head the Secret Service.

    She and the Heels Up VP are Soul Mates from The Cesspool aka Oakland, but would better serve the Nation as Cell Mates.

  6. Wants to lead but does not want to take responsibility for outcomes, what a winner. Sums up liberal sensibilities on leadership quite well.

  7. Outlaw is incompetent and was the wrong choice for any major city. She should have had a plan, Americans were watching the violence around the country unfold. This was not an isolated event, it was going to happen here. Having knowledge and experience takes the place of a blueprint. She has neither, she has to resign, she is not up to the job. How many more times will she used the no blueprint excuse. Its costing lives and confidence in the department. She needs to go.

  8. There is a fascinating Timeline that may be pursued of when negotiations began between Former US Attorney McSwain and Duane Morris LLP. now that it is announced his Partnership in the Firm.

    When You Ralph, disclosed the Questionable Payments made by Duane Morris Senior Partner Alan Kessler on behalf of Dominion Voting Machines to Phila. Elected Officials and there was no further Investigation leading to Prosecution, can we deduce that there was a Quid Pro Quo in play???

    Fortunately for Your Avid Readers, You have decided not to censor Questions and Opinions as the Inky will continue to mandate.

    So much for the Advancement of Solid Reporting and Good Journalism.


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