The eyes of the Philadelphia Police Department keep getting blackened. Inspector Daniel Castro stands accused of strong-arming a former business partner. Officer William Haviland will likely get fired for allegedly drinking on the job this weekend.
It’s not as if they weren’t told to brace themselves, though.
In August, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced his intentions to create an anti-corruption “values-driven organization” by, among many other measures, beefing up Internal Affairs. When two officers got arrested in October for allegedly attempting to rob an undercover officer posing as a drug dealer, he said: “We wouldn’t have to clean house if it wasn’t dirty in the first place.”
Yesterday, District Attorney Seth Williams was asked whether 18 cop arrests is what it looks like to make things better.
“It’s never a good thing to have to go on TV talking about cops being arrested, but it’s necessary to show people we don’t have a double standard,” he said. “These cases are a testament to that.”
Translation: “It’s always been done that way” is an unacceptable excuse, especially when the FOP chastises bad cops instead of lawyering them up. The stories are embarrassing, officials say, but necessary to reform an organization’s mindset.
“Say somebody’s moving a large-scale, extra-wide load, some construction [people] think common courtesy to give the police escort $20. That used to be considered a minor thing. We can no longer accept that,” Williams said. “Little things lead to bigger things.”