A Philadelphia police officer was arrested and charged Friday with falsely claiming a suspect attacked and injured him when video evidence shows that he hurt himself falling on a sidewalk, the District Attorney’s Office said.
Keith White, 35, who was assigned to the 25th Police District in North Philadelphia, was charged with tampering with records, unsworn falsification, false reports to law enforcement authorities with intent to implicate another person, and official oppression. White, who has been with the department for 13 years, was suspended with intent to dismiss by Acting Police Commissioner Christine M. Coulter.
White allegedly claimed that a suspect he was arresting on April 13, 2018, for selling drugs had struck him in the mouth, causing damage to his teeth and bleeding.
Prosecutors said that surveillance video showed that White, who was then assigned to the East Detective Division, was running after the suspect when he stumbled and hit his face on the sidewalk.
“Video footage further showed that the [suspect] was lying on the ground and did not physically resist when Officer White handcuffed him,” the District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Friday.
The suspect was originally charged with aggravated assault and related offenses. After reviewing the video evidence, prosecutors withdrew the charges two weeks later, on April 30, 2018.
“None of us, including those who wear a badge or are installed in the highest offices of government, are above the law,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement.
“When the system has integrity, and is able to earn the trust of the public — including members of the public who might have reason to fear government — then we are all safer,” Krasner said.