Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Ten large payouts resulting from Philly police-involved shootings

The U.S. Department of Justice is set to release its report Friday on the use of deadly force by Philadelphia police officers.

Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, in an interview earlier this week, said he expects the department to move quickly on the federal recommendations and will soon begin bias and de-escalation training for officers.

"We're writing the curriculum right now," he said.

Many of the families of those shot by police officers have settled wrongful death and civil rights suits with the city. What follows is a list of 10 of the largest payouts -- totaling $11.1 million -- to those families.

1. Stephen Moore, a part time water-ice vendor, was lounging in his bedroom on Nov. 9, 2011, when an alarm went off alerting him the front door had been opened. Moore, who was unarmed, went to investigate. Officer Larry Shields had been dispatched to the property for a report of a burglary in progress. Shields said the door was open a crack when he entered. Shields said he saw Moore advancing and making a threatening move toward his waist. Shields fired, striking Moore in the chest. Moore survived. Settlement: $2.5 million.

2. Jamil Moses, 24,  was a passenger in a stolen Chevy Impala that led police on a chase on Feb. 8, 2011 through North Philadelphia. Police vehicles boxed the car in at 23rd Street and Susquehanna Avenue. Police officers claimed Moses, and driver Frederick Bell, refused to get out of the car. Both men were unarmed when police fired 62 times into the Chevy. Moses was killed. Bell was critically injured. Settlement: $2.5 million.

3. John James, then 20, was riding a motorcycle down a sidewalk in his Kensington neighborhood on Sept. 15, 2009, when he was shot from behind by Officer Richard DeCoatsworth. The bullet struck James' leg and shattered his femur. James, who survived, was charged and acquitted of aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime, and simple assault. He was found guilty of fleeing an officer and recklessly endangering another person. Settlement: $1.5 million.

4. Jonathan Pickett, of Langhorne, was walking down a North Philadelphia street on Feb. 4, 2013, when officers approached with their guns drawn and ordered him to raise his hands, according to court documents. Officers put Pickett, who was unarmed, into the back of a police vehicle. As Pickett sat in the back seat, an unidentified officer shot Pickett in the stomach. Pickett survived. Settlement: $1.25 million.

5. Vincent Hall was standing outside work on N. 53d Street on the afternoon of May 24, 2012, when Officer Donald Rider rolled up in a police vehicle. Rider called to Hall, saying, "come here." Hall turned to alert his employer, and as he turned back to face the officer, Rider fired, shooting Hall in the chest. Hall, who had been unarmed, survived. Settlement: $850,000.

6. Lawrence Allen, 20, of West Oak Lane, was a friend of a teenage boy who on Nov. 7, 2008 had assaulted Police Sgt. Chauncey Ellison's teenage son and had stolen a pizza from the boy. Sgt. Ellison and Officer Robin Fortune, who were dating and off-duty, went searching for the pizza thief and found him. Allen, who had had nothing to do with the robbery, tried to diffuse the situation and offered to pay for the pizza. Fortune allegedly encouraged Ellison to shoot, saying "Pop one of these m___f___." Ellison shot Allen in the back, rendering the young father of three a paraplegic. Allen died three months later. Settlement: $650,000.

7. Reora Askew, 38, had allegedly threatened passengers on a SEPTA bus with a butcher knife on Sept. 8, 2007. Officer Thomas Ohm found Askew in a North Philadelphia park at Howard Street and Susquehanna Avenue. A police spokesman at the time said Askew lunged at Ohm with the knife before he fired on her several times. Askew's family argued she had turned to leave when she was hit twice in her back, once in her arm, and twice in her chest. Settlement: $500,000.

8. Hassan Pratt, 28, was a passenger in a car when it was pulled over by police Aug. 9, 2012 in West Philadelphia. Officers ordered the driver, Pratt, and Pratt's brother, a soldier on leave from Afghanistan, out of the vehicle. An officer began to search Hassan for weapons and contraband. Hassan, who had previous encounters with police, became frightened and ran. Officer Cyrus Mann chased Hassan into an alley near 56th and Walton Avenue. Mann claimed Hassan, who was unarmed, lunged at him before he fired, striking Hassan three times in the torso. Settlement:  $465,000.

9. Ricky Howard became involved in a scuffle with another man, Edward Parks, on March 26, 2008. As the two struggled for control of a gun, Officer Shamaya Allen-Bullock was dispatched for a report of shots fired at the scene, a parking lot near 30th Street and Lehigh Avenue. According to court papers, she ordered the two men to drop the gun "a number of times" before shooting twice. Howard, whose family said he was fighting off an armed robber at the time, was struck twice and died.  Settlement: $460,000.

10. Thomas Hennelly, 26, of Havertown, had allegedly been involved in a hit-and-run accident April 12, 2012, when he drove his pickup truck onto a sidewalk in North Philadelphia and struck a Temple University student. According to police accounts, Hennelly fled on foot and ran into a beer distributer. A female officer caught up with Hennelly. She claimed Hennelly, who was unarmed, made a move to grab an object and threatened her. She fired several times, killing him. Settlement: $325,000.

- Sam Wood