Crime Watch

Town Hall on Monday will discuss the shooting of Philippe Holland

Posted on 12 May 2017

A town hall will be held Monday, May 15 to discuss the 2015 shooting of Philippe Holland and the recent redeployment of the officers involved.

Philippe Holland

Cedar Park Neighbors, Cobbs Creek Neighbors, Garden Court Community Association, and Walnut Hill Community Association are the organizations behind the important community event. The groups have urged local law enforcement to fire Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey, but the officers have only been transferred to different city districts.

The town hall will be held at the Chapel at Calvary Community Center (48th Street and Baltimore Avenue) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

“This meeting will reiterate our concern about these officers still patrolling the streets currently in neighborhoods of South and Northeast Philadelphia, understanding the process for investigating/potentially prosecuting these incidents, and the mechanisms the Police District has to improve communication to the community,” reads a statement from Cedar Park Neighbors.  Continue Reading

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Thieves break through walls to burglarize multiple businesses near 49th and Chester

Posted on 08 May 2017

Police are asking for the public’s assistance to identify two male suspects sought for a series of commercial burglaries on Chester Avenue near 49th Street.

The burglaries took place on April 18 at approximately 4 a.m. when the suspects broke into The Church of God in the World at 4817 Chester Ave. through the rear door and then broke into Unwired Solutions cell phone store at 4821 Chester Avenue through a connecting wall, according to police. After taking several phones from the cell phone store, the suspects broke through another wall to gain access to Jennifer’s Groceries located at 4823 Chester Avenue, according to a police report. Once inside the grocery store the suspects took an unknown amount of cash and lottery tickets and then fled in an unknown direction.  Continue Reading

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Community pressure forces officers who shot unarmed pizza deliveryman out of West Philly

Posted on 02 May 2017

Two police officers who shot an unarmed pizza deliveryman in 2014 have been transferred out of West Philly after pressure from neighborhood groups.

Officers Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey had resumed street patrol after a suspension for shooting Philippe Holland, who was delivering food near 51st and Willows on the evening of April 22, 2014. Farrell and Hanvey were in plain clothes and investigating a robbery in the area when they approached Holland with their guns drawn. Fearing a robbery, Holland ran to his car and tried to drive away. The officers opened fire, hitting Holland in the head and leg. Police regulations prohibit shooting at a moving vehicle. A total of 14 shots were fired, according to investigators.

After a three-year investigation, Hanvey and Farrell were suspended for 25 days and were back on the streets. A joint letter from Cedar Park Neighbors, Cobbs Creek Neighbors, Garden Court Community Association and Walnut Hill Community Association dated April 28 asking the Philadelphia Police Department to fire the two officers prompted the transfer.  Continue Reading

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Maintenance man sentenced to life without parole for 2015 murder of Drexel grad near 50th and Locust

Posted on 30 March 2017

             Jasmine Wright was 27.

The maintenance man standing trial for the rape and murder of a woman who lived in the building where he worked was found guilty on Wednesday of first degree murder and other charges and sentenced to life without parole.

James Harris, 56, was found guilty in the July 2015 rape and murder of 27-year-old Jasmine Wright, a Drexel graduate student, at her apartment near 50th and Locust Streets.

Harris had worked in the building where Wright lived, but had been fired a week earlier, according to reports. He still had keys to the building when Wright was murdered. Police said his DNA and fingerprints were found at the scene.  Continue Reading

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Victims held at gunpoint during home invasion, robbery near 48th and Baltimore

Posted on 28 March 2017

Police are investigating a home invasion and gunpoint robbery that took place early Friday morning on the 800 block of South 48th Street.

An 18-year-old male, reportedly a homestay student, was entering the residence at approximately 2:30 a.m. when he was approached from behind by three unknown young males. One of them pointed a gun at him, and then the men forced their way into the property, according to police.

Once inside, the men put the 18-year-old and two other people – reportedly the property owners – on the floor and robbed them. They took the 18-year-old victim’s wallet, cash, a debit card and cell phone. They also made the property owners open a safe, located on the second floor, and took $1,500 from it, according to a police report.  Continue Reading

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Two sought in murder of West Philly community organizer Winnie Harris

Posted on 24 March 2017

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying two “persons of interest” wanted for questioning in connection with last month’s murder of longtime Powelton resident, community activist and green space advocate Winnie Harris, 65. Police have also released a video that shows the two people walking near Harris’ house (one of them appears to be holding a gun):

Harris, Executive Director of UC Green, was found shot to death inside her house on the 300 block of North Holly Street in West Powelton on February 3. According to a more recent police report, she had multiple gunshot wounds (initially it was reported that she was shot once in the abdomen). Harris was found in a second-floor bedroom. She lived alone in her house.

No arrests have been made.  Continue Reading

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