Chief Inspector Anthony Boyle, one of the highest-ranking officials in the Philadelphia Police Department, was suspended Monday for 30 days with intent to dismiss after an Internal Affairs investigation found neglect of duty, failure to supervise, and conduct unbecoming an officer.

The action comes almost two years after Boyle allegedly attacked Capt. Laverne Vann while she was handcuffing someone during a narcotics arrest, twisting her hands behind her back and attempting to push her to the ground. That incident followed Vann’s and two other Black female officers’ filing a federal lawsuit alleging retaliation and racial discrimination after they raised concerns about what they said were illegal tactics promoted by Boyle while he oversaw the Narcotics Bureau.

“Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw made the administrative decision,” a police spokesperson said in a statement, noting that “the Internal Affairs Division has been conducting an ongoing investigation regarding the actions and conduct of Chief Inspector Anthony Boyle.”

Boyle, 67, a 44-year veteran of the department, did not immediately return a phone call Monday.


As The Inquirer has reported, Internal Affairs previously sustained charges against Boyle for failure to supervise in connection with the narcotics scandal. That meant the charges were held for a final determination by the Police Board of Inquiry, though any final action by the disciplinary board has not been made public. At the time, Boyle said he had adhered to “legitimate and longstanding law-enforcement procedures.”

At a staff meeting in 2017, Boyle and Inspector Ray Evers announced a protocol for flipping people caught committing low-level offenses into off-the-books informants by falsifying paperwork to cover up their arrests, according to the lawsuit. Vann and Debra Frazier raised concerns that the tactics were against protocol.

Boyle allegedly instructed staff to clear street corners of “toads” and “scum,” inviting officers to run over the feet of those who did not move quickly enough.

Subsequently, defense lawyers identified dozens of cases where narcotics officers falsified evidence, or made or threatened false arrests, in attempts to turn people into informants. They have argued that hundreds of additional cases should be thrown out.