Commonwealth v. G.P.
Philadelphia police on routine patrol stopped G.P.’s car for a defective middle brake light. According to police, G.P. was taken out of the car for their safety, and during the course of the traffic investigation he pulled out a gun and fired one time at the officers. In response, the officers fired their guns at G.P., striking him five times. G.P. suffered massive injuries and almost lost his life. He was charged with attempted murder on police and firearms charges. Defense investigation began immediately. It was conclusively determined that the brake light was not malfunctioning at the time of the stop, which was the entire reason for the encounter. No shell casings were found from a semi-automatic gun at the scene that was attributable to G.P, and expert analysis of the firearm revealed that there was lint in the barrel, factors that cast doubt on police claims that the gun was fired. Statements to internal affairs were obtained which showed major inconsistencies in the officers’ statements. 911 calls were subpoenaed that revealed frantic calls from anonymous citizens that the “cops had just gunned down a man.” There were no calls made indicating that G.P. had a gun, let alone fired one in this supposed firearm offense in Philly. Finally, defense investigation into the officers involved in the shooting revealed that one of them had fired his gun at TWO unarmed men on separate occasions within the past five years. Pretrial motions by the defense resulted in rulings that permitted the defense to present those prior incidents to a jury. As a result of all of these factors, all charges relating to the gun and the shooting against G.P. were withdrawn by the District Attorney. G.P. currently has a civil suit pending against the City of Philadelphia for excessive force.