Jury selection begins in murder of Philadelphia police officer

Officer John Pawlowski (left) and Rasheed Scrugs (right)
October 4, 2010 7:55:33 AM PDT
Jury selection begins today in the trial of a man accused of killing a Philadelphia police officer.

RELATED: Photos from the life of John Pawlowski
RELATED: The funeral for Officer John Pawlowski

Investigators say Rasheed Scrugs shot and killed Officer John Pawlowski in February of last year.

Scrugs is charged with first-degree murder. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Officer Pawlowski responded to Broad and Olney in the city's Logan section back on February 13, 2009. Investigators say Rasheed Scrugs was trying to rob a cab driver, and then opened fire on Pawlowski and his partner as they arrived on the scene.

The taxi driver, Emmanuel Cesar, is the man who made the 911 call after a confrontation with Scrugs at Broad and Olney that night. Cesar previously testified in court that Scrugs said, "If you call the cops I will shoot you and the cops."

Mark Kline, Pawlowski's partner that night, told the court: "He looked at John and fired out of his right pocket. I saw a muzzle flash. John collapsed."

Officer Pawlowski soon died from three wounds from a .357 magnum.

The officer's wife was pregnant with their first child at the time of the murder.

John Pawlowki's father is a retired lieutenant. John's brother Robert, a corporal in police radio, was working when his brother was shot, and heard the call come in.

25-year-old police Officer John Pawlowski was assigned to the 35th district. He was the second from the 35th to be killed in the line of duty in just 15 months - and the seventh Philadelphia officer to be killed in less than three years.


Load Comments