Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Philly Cops Wrong in Display Case

Philly Judge Craig Washington is underfire for disrespecting a memorial display to honor fallen cop John Pawlowski in the 35th District Police headquarters.

The display was put up in front of the judge's bench where accused criminals are brought for hearing. Washington ordered it taken down and when police balked he turned down the photo of Pawlowski himself.

The cops were furious and Washington has been temporarily reassigned.

As much as we would like to side with the police in this case, Judge Washington is right. A courtroom, even one in a police headquarters, should be free of such displays. The appearance of impartiality and fairness demands it.

Maybe the judge could have handled it more diplomatically but Philly's finest ought to understand this too. Even as they grieve their fallen brother, justice must remain blind, impartial and fair. And judges must make sure of the appearance thereof.


Anonymous Bob said...

Gil - I agree. We don't need any of these SOB's walking because a jury was unfairly influenced.

February 18, 2009 at 10:48 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

It's not about the juries, Bob, they don't have jury trials in police stations.

February 18, 2009 at 11:23 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right. In police stations you have suspects beaten and a lot of brooms with missing handles.

February 18, 2009 at 11:36 AM 
Anonymous Bob said...

I'll rephrase that -
We don't need any of these SOB's walking because a jury feels that someone was unfairly influenced.

February 18, 2009 at 11:49 AM 
Blogger steve mcdonald said...

No. If you're going that far, why not take down the black curtains above the doors to the 35th - instead of now repainting the mural on the wall to include a fourth fallen officer, why have one at all? Should you take down any make-shift memorials up against the building as well? We don't want to affect any outcomes of arraignments here so why does the building itself not count as well?

Would it be ok if we put a Donkey or Elephant in place of the statue of freedom on top of the US Capitol to really show who's got control of the building? How about we put party symbols on all our federal courthouses so accused parties walking into court know where their allegiences need to lie?

I consider a small precinct court within a precinct building to be the same as the building itself. What's the difference if there a picture of a fallen officer on a table where there's pictures of three fallen officers on the wall that keeps said courtroom dry? You don't see them walking in? You don't think the mural, the make-shift memorial or the curtains above the doors influence anyone?

Want a balanced court? - move into another building.

February 18, 2009 at 12:04 PM 
Anonymous e said...

...Unless there is a history between the Judge letting cop killers out on bail or dismissing cases instead of putting them in jail. Maybe that is why the memorial was put where it was and the Judge could not look at the picture of the cop he helped kill.

February 18, 2009 at 11:59 PM 

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