Philadelphia Police Officer Vincent Strain, a cop’s son, zoomed from suspect to suspect, kicking each of the three men wanted in a triple shooting, reports the city’s Daily News. Officer Patrick Gallagher, a two-year veteran, bashed one of the shooting suspects in the head with an unknown object. Officer Patrick Whalen, just one month out of the Police Academy, pummeled two suspects. And Officer Robert Donnelly, also fresh out of the academy, was arguably the worst violator of department policy: With a gun in his hand, Donnelly allegedly yanked one suspect from the car and struck and repeatedly kicked him.
Yesterday, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey fired the four and disciplined four others, including demoting a sergeant, for their role in a May 5 police encounter filmed by a news helicopter and seen around the world. “All of us as law-enforcement professionals have to understand that, unlike criminals on the street, we have rules that we have to abide by,” Ramsey said. “We have an obligation to do things the right way.” Ramsey punished the eight officers just two weeks after the dramatic footage first aired locally on television. The video shows officers rushing a Mercury Grand Marquis and pulling out the three men. The officers then kick, punch and stomp on the three, whom police say had fled a shooting.