Police Accountability: An Action Guide for Responding to "Infernal Affairs"


        Yesterday, Philadelphia Weekly and City and State PA released an informative article analyzing the rates of civilian complaints against a small minority of Philadelphia Police Department officers. In the article, the reporters outline the difficulties in parsing together the data and the efforts that the reporters went to to get the full list of data. The article is a riveting insight into the sad state of police accountability in Philadelphia.

       We took their list and figured out their precincts of the named officers, which you can view here or download as a pdf. here.

       As the people holding down the fort with the #OccupyICE #EndStopAndFrisk have pointed out, the kinds of policing actions described in the article are similar to the reports of ICE raids in Philadelphia. It is important to remember that these are all agencies upholding similar laws and attitudes that are rooted in racist ideas and specifically targeting and criminalizing minority communities.

        We would like to share, as an addendum to the great reporting from Max Marin and Ryan Briggs, some resources for people who are interested in working towards accountability and advocacy.

Philly: A Police Accountability Primer

“Today, not even the Police Advisory Commission, a civilian board established by the Mayor’s Office to independently investigated complaints against officers, has access to un-redacted complaint records, and public defenders are forced to subpoena individual records. Moreover, records relating to investigations launched by Internal Affairs itself have never been made public.”

The following is a collection of articles and data on police accountability in Philly and lack there of. We encourage every citizen of Philadelphia to go through this list of articles and databases about the levels of misconduct in policing in Philadelphia.

Anything we should add here? Shoot us an email to share it out. 


Get Involved.

Many of the groups listed are headed by the members of the targeted communities, and all of them are doing excellent grassroots level work to support these communities. Think we should add you? Let us know.

[This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you have any resources you'd like us to add on this list, please contact us at phillypowerresearch@gmail.com.]




  • i. Quick References

  • ii. Problem Cops

  • iii. For-Profit Policing

  • iv. Police Union Contracts

  • v. City Budget & Expensive Overtime

  • vi. Block Party Bans

  • vii. Stop and Frisk

  • viii. Murder Clearance Rates

  • ix. Cops and Residency Requirements

i. Quick References.

ii. Problem Cops

iii. For-Profit Policing

iv. City Budget & Expensive Overtime

  • Cop overtime costs millions (Claudia Vargas & Chris Palmer) – Cops testifying or waiting to testify in court are entitled to overtime pay. Overtime testifying pay cost $12 million alone in the first seven months of the 2018 fiscal year.

  • 2019 Police Budget Increase and Personnel Expansion (2019 City Budget) - From the City Budget: “To reach and maintain a sworn strength of 6,525 in the Police Department, as well as pay for cost increases related to the Federation of Police labor award, the Police Department’s budget grows by over $18 million from the FY18 estimate. “

v. Police Union Contracts

vi. Block Parties

vii. Stop and Frisk

viii. Murder Clearance Rate

  • Philly's Increasingly Unsolved Murders (Max Marin) – Philly’s unusually low homicide clearance rate (investigations that lead to arrests) in the years leading up to 2017.

  • More than Half Philly Murders Go Unsolved (Chris Palmer) – Recent requirements in witness treatment may have caused the murder clearance rate to drop, despite the fact that other cities with the same standards maintain a high clearance rate.

  • How to Improve the Murder Clearance Rate in U.S. Cities (Anthony Williams) – increasing detectives, improving access to forensic services, raising hiring standards for leadership, and combating witness intimidation will increase the number of homicide cases that are solved.

  • How Many Crimes Do Your Police Clear? (Martin Kaste) - FBI database that allows you to compare clearance rate statistics between different jurisdictions. There are discrepancies regarding how data is submitted to the FBI; reader beware.

ix. Cops and Residency Requirements


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