The president of the Philadelphia Police Department’s union trashed District Attorney Seth William Wednesday for not charging a teen girl caught on videofighting with a police officer.
“Once again, the District Attorney ofPhiladelphia has chosen to disregard his responsibility and look the other way when a police officer is assaulted,” fumed union president John McNesby in a statement released Wednesday.
“The young woman who freely admitted assaulting a uniformed officer on duty is allowed to walk away with absolutely no accountability by aDistrict Attorney too busy dodging federal subpoenas to do the job he was sworn to do,” McNesby continued, apparently referring to the reported federal probe into Williams’ fundraising and finances.
Williams decided Tuesday tonot file assault on police charges against a 16-year-old girl, who was caught on video struggling with a police officer after a 30-person brawl in West Philly on Monday.
The girl admitted to striking the officer in the face and knocking her glasses off and was arrested and charged with assault by the police.
But the officer’s response, throwing the girl to the ground by the hair, straddling her and punching her repeatedly, drew immediate and intense criticism from Black Lives Matters activists.
Williams’ spokesman Cameron Klinedefended the decision to not charge the girl with assaulting a police officer.
“District Attorney Williams will never apologize for relying on high investigative and prosecutorial standards before deciding to take away someone’s freedom,” Kline said via email. “And it’s stunning that anyone, much less a member of law enforcement, would ever believe anything else.”
Kline also took issue with McNesby’s implication that Williams ignores cases involving police officers.
“Mr. McNesby’s comments seem to miss the fact that the District Attorney has prosecuted more police officers than his past two predecessors combined,” Kline said. “The District Attorney believes that everyone should be treated the same and held to the same standards regardless of if they are a police officer or not.”
The police officer involved in the incident is currently assigned to desk duty while Internal Affairs investigates her use of force in this incident. As video of the fight went viral, manyhave criticized the police officer’s response to the girl.
But McNesby’s anger was entirely directed at Williams, not his officer.
“First, there was the McCoy debacle in which Williams turned against the police and now this,” McNesby said, referring toWilliams’ decision not to choose former Eagle LeSean McCoyover a nightclub brawl with three off-duty cops.
“It has been very disappointing over the past seven years watching a once promising District Attorney degenerate into a morally and ethically challenged sideline playboy,” McNesby said.