2 fmr. Philly cops charged in teen's death

Lawrence Allen

July 6, 2012 2:30:38 PM PDT
Two former Philadelphia Police officers have been charged in the 2008 shooting death of a 19-year-old, which allegedly stemmed from an argument involving pizza.

Charges against Chauncey Ellison, 39, and Robin Fortune, 44, were announced by the district attorney on Friday.

Both Ellison and Fortune were off-duty at the time of the shooting and were fired from the department in 2010. Investigators also said the two were dating at the time.

District Attorney Seth Williams said the victim, 19-year-old Lawrence Allen, was shot in the back outside of his home on the 1900 block of Renovo Street on the night of November 17, 2008.

Allen was paralyzed by the shooting and spent the rest of his life in treatment facilities before he died at the age of 20 on February 15, 2009.

According to Williams, on the night of the shooting, Ellison's 14-year-old son and Fortune's 14 year-old-son said that a 16-year-old neighborhood boy had stolen their pizza. The group went in search of the robber and encountered the 16-year-old near Cheltenham Avenue and gave chase.

They caught up with the teen outside Allen's house, the D.A. said, at which time Allen put himself between the 16-year-old and Ellison, who allegedly had his gun drawn.

All of the witnesses testified that Allen offered to pay for the pizza, even though he and his family were not involved in the robbery.

Still, Williams said, Fortune yelled at Ellison, calling him names and asked if he was "going to let them do this to your son."

During the confrontation, Allen was shot in the back.

Ellison was charged with Voluntary Manslaughter, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Possession of an Instrument of Crime and Conspiracy.

Fortune was charged with Conspiracy and Recklessly Endangering another Person.

At the time, D.A. Lynne Abraham did not file any charges because one witness reported he thought he saw Allen flash a gun, but no gun was found.

Meanwhile, Ramsey fired the officers in 2010 for taking matters into their own hands instead of calling on-duty uniform officers and also for their actions after the shooting.

They allegedly fled the scene and called 911 from Cheltenham saying they had shot someone in Philadelphia.