Two plainclothes Philadelphia police officers who shot a food delivery man in 2014, resulting in a record $4.4 million city settlement, were each suspended without pay for 25 days as punishment for their actions.
The information came as the Police Department on Friday announced that it had scrapped a policy that barred officials from disclosing the lengths of the suspensions given Officers Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey.
The change is due in part to an article in the Inquirer and Daily News on Monday examining the 2014 shooting of Philippe Holland, department spokesman Sekou Kinebrew said Friday.
Going forward, punishments that result from internal investigations and that involve a citizen who has been affected by an officer's actions will be made public, he said. Punishments as a result of external complaints, such as a citizen's complaint against an officer, are already made public.
"It came down to retaining a policy vs. transparency," Kinebrew said.
Farrell and Hanvey, who no longer work plainclothes details, each began serving the suspension in March and completed it this month, he said.
The 25-day suspensions, Kinebrew said, are longer than what the department calls a 30-day suspension because the last includes the two days each week that an officer would normally be scheduled off.
"These are real suspensions, five weeks without pay," Kinebrew said.
John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, said he took little issue with the policy change but would fight the punishments handed to Farrell, 30, and Hanvey, 28.
"We're going to grieve that and go to a hearing, and we expect to recover every bit of that 25 days," said McNesby, who called the shooting of Holland "an unfortunate ordeal."
Just before 10 p.m. on April 22, 2014, Holland delivered a food order to a customer on Willows Avenue near 51st Street in West Philadelphia when he spotted the two plainclothes officers emerging from their unmarked car, parked in the intersection.
Fearing they were robbers, Holland, then 20, hurried to his car and attempted to drive away. The officers opened fire, hitting the car with 14 bullets, three of which struck Holland in the face and a leg. The officers told investigators they believed Holland was trying to run them over as they attempted to question him about gunshots heard in the area, which they were investigating.
The department's Police Board of Inquiry in January found the officers not guilty of violating the policy prohibiting officers from shooting at moving vehicles. That finding was overruled by Ross.
McNesby said the officers have been wronged by Ross' decision. "When they overrule things, unfortunately, you have to arbitrate that. He doesn't have the final say."