A grand jury has decided not to recommend criminal charges against a dozen Philadelphia police officers captured on videotape last year beating three men in a case that caused a national sensation, reports the city’s Inquirer. District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham explained that the video left a false impression. “The video, in fact, did not speak for itself,” she said. The panel recommended changes in procedures for pursuing suspected violent offenders.
Police pursued the men last May in the belief they had been involved in a shooting and came at time when they were also looking for a man wanted in the killing of police two days earlier. Abraham said the grand jury heard from all 12 officers, all three defendants, the police commissioner and experts in felony stops and use of force. Although Abraham acknowledged the shocking nature of the video showing the the arrests, she said the officers used only the force needed to subdue and cuff the three men. “For all the apparent ferocity, the defendants suffered no substantial injuries, no broken bones . . . They were in an out of the hospital in under an hour,” Abraham said.