Pa. cop pays victim's family, city not liable for death

The family says it was nice to receive damages, "but it would have been good to send a message to the city"


By Troy Graham
The Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA — A federal jury has ruled that a Philadelphia police officer who killed an unarmed man after a foot chase in 2006 has to pay the man's family $138,000.

The jury did not, however, find that the city or former Police Commissioner Sylvester M. Johnson could be held responsible for the death of 25-year-old Raymond Pelzer.

At the heart of the case was the argument that the Police Department should have established written rules and provided more training on foot pursuits, after being warned in a 2005 report that officers often used dangerous tactics while chasing suspects.

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