Police shoot gunman in North Philadelphia, Ramsey calls for investigation

May 29, 2013 1:22:22 PM PDT
Six people have been shot by Philadelphia police over the past week, two of them fatally. These incidents are enough to raise eyebrows and have certainly caught the attention of Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey who has now called for a federal investigation of his own department.

The first of two shootings on Wednesday happened just before 11:00 a.m. on the 2400 block of North 4th Street in North Philadelphia.

Police responded to a report of a man with a gun.

He was confronted by an officer who allegedly shot the 26-year-old man twice, hitting him in the upper back and rear end.

He's now in stable condition.

Witnesses say it was unprovoked.

"He stopped right there. Put his hands up. They shoot him in the back. Everybody seen them. It was an abuse," Lourdes Menendez of North Philadelphia said.

The police are investigating.

Hours later, police shot a gunman who allegedly fired at them first in Southwest Philadelphia.

Commissioner Ramsey has asked for an independent investigation of his department's policies and training practices.

He's asked the Department of Justice to conduct the investigation with an outside consultant.

He emphasizes this is not a civil rights investigation.

There have now been six police-involved shootings in one week.

Three of them happened within just 48 hours.

In each case, the police claim the person they shot pointed a weapon at them.

Philadelphia police, so far this year, have been involved in 20 shootings, compared to 28 during the same period last year.

The numbers spiked last year with a 50 percent jump over previous years.


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