Philly Cops Refuse To Break Door, Woman Found Dead


Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson has promised an internal investigation into why police did not try to enter an apartment last month after a woman apparently sent a cell-phone message for help, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The woman was found slain later that day. A spokesman said Johnson was considering implementing a forced-entry policy. The 24-year-old woman was found dead Jan. 21 in her living room under a pile of clothes that had been set on fire. She had been strangled by hand. Authorities said King might have been the person who sent a text message from her cell phone asking for help and that police, despite the urging of King’s father, had refused to break down the door.

Johnson said others were placing too much emphasis on the possibility of a police foul-up and not enough on the murder. “Last year, we handled 3.2 million 911 calls, and we’re being criticized for one, and we don’t even know what the result of that is,” he said. “All the focus has been toward the Police Department. You’ve got a cold-blooded murderer out there, and everybody is zeroing in on the police and not on the murderer.” Johnson said there was no policy for breaking down a door. Inspector William Colarulo, a spokesman for Johnson, said Johnson was considering a policy that would call for officers to summon an officer of lieutenant or higher rank when a decision is needed on whether to break down a door.


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