Linn Washington Jr.
Actions and inactions by Philadelphia’s District Attorneys Office that have blocked Sharif Anderson from his day-in-court for an arrest that took place over 1,200-days ago have elevated this Philadelphia police abuse victim into a prime example of the phrase ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.’
During recent months Philadelphia prosecutors have consistently presented specious requests in court that have delayed trial dates for Anderson, who endured a brutal May 27, 2013 arrest when Philadelphia police confronted him as he videoed an incident of police brutality with his cell phone.
Those requests by prosecutors for delays in the Anderson case raise issues regarding adherence of prosecutors to a provision in the Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers in Pennsylvania that states it is “not proper for a lawyer to routinely fail to expedite litigation.”
The Philadelphia District Attorneys Office declined requests for comments on issues embedded in the case of Sharif Anderson. “Unfortunately, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office cannot comment…because the case is still active,” stated an email reply from the DAs Office.
Protestors at march against deadly May 1985 bombing by Philadelphia police. LBW Photo
Disturbingly, it is not unusual for prosecutors in Philadelphia and elsewhere around America to reflexively pursue obstructionist tactics that shield police in cases that contain documented evidence of improper and/or biased actions by police.
The failures of prosecutors to prosecute police misconduct was an underlying element in reports critical of abusive policing issued by the U.S. Department of Justice after high profile examinations of law enforcers in Baltimore, Maryland; Cleveland, Ohio and Ferguson, Missouri — three cities that roiled due to incidents of abusive policing.
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