Indicted Cops Face Civil Lawsuit
PHILADELPHIA (CN) - A team of Philadelphia narcotics officers, many of whom have been indicted by a grand jury on racketeering conspiracy charges, dragged a woman into an SUV and took her to two houses, demanding to know "where the money was" and threatened to take away her child if she did not tell them, the woman claims in court.
Sherrianne Kinee says that defendant Officers Michael Spicer and Perry Betts stopped her at 2 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2010, as she was walking to school to pick up her nephew. They took her cell phone - which never has been returned - handcuffed her and put her into an SUV, she says in the complaint.
The officers drove her to a house, where they were met by four other officers, she says: was handled by four other officers: defendants John Walker, John Speiser, Thomas Liciardello, John Walker, and/or Sgt. Gorman.
They asked her: "Why is a white girl dealing with people in this neighborhood?," Kinee says.
"Defendant Liciardello told her that 'You must be some kind of nigger lover and should just kill yourself.'"
Kinee says the officers all began screaming at her, demanding, "Where is the money? You better show us where the fucking money is."
The officers took her to another house across the street, called her a "nigger lover" again, and demanded to know where the money was. Kinee, "who had committed no crime and had never been arrested before, began to cry and explain that she did not live in the house and had no knowledge of the whereabouts of any money," the complaint states. But the officers demanded to know where the money was and threatened to call the Department of Human Services to take her daughter way, she claims. Kinee was booked at the police station and held for 48 hours.
In December 2012, Philadelphia District Attorney announced in a letter that he would no longer rely on testimony from the defendant officers as witnesses in narcotics cases or approve warrants they requested.
On Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Rice ordered Liciardello, the accused ringleader, held in federal detention. Rice released Betts and two other officers, Brian Reynolds and Linwood Norman. He ordered Michael Spicer held until trial. Jonathan Speiser's bail hearing was postponed.
The cops at the bail hearing are accused of using violence to rob drug dealers.
Kinee seeks punitive damages for excessive force, battery, assault, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, unjustified search, malicious prosecution, conspiracy and emotional distress. She also sued Philadelphia, for negligent hiring and retention. She is represented by Patrick Geckle.