Surveillance tape is 'key' in controversial Phila. police shooting

Philadelphia Daily News

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — A surveillance tape at a busy Germantown drug corner may be the key to determining whether deadly force was justified in the controversial fatal police shooting of the grandnephew of former Mayor W. Wilson Goode late Friday.

The police shootings of Timothy "Tee" Goode Jr., 24, at 9:23 p.m. in lower Germantown, and Trevor "Tre" Cephas, 21, three hours later in North Philadelphia, are being investigated by the Police Internal Affairs Bureau and the district attorney's office.

The police shootings are the second and third of the year, after Abebe Isaac, was mistakenly shot at a New Year's party by police firing at an alleged gunman.

Last year, 15 people were fatally shot by Philadelphia police.

Goode and Cephas were armed when they raised their guns prompting officers to fire, according to Lt. Frank Vanore.

The families of the deceased say both men were wrongfully killed.

Former Mayor Goodeappealed for calm.

"There's a half-dozen versions of events out there, and that's why everyone needs to wait until the investigation is complete and witnesses are interviewed and the film is reviewed," said the former mayor, now a Baptist minister.

"The mayor has promised he will do that, and I have confidence he will."

With crime his No. 1 issue, Mayor Nutter - who spoke with Goode and his son, Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. - vowed a "full and proper investigation of that shooting, and every shooting in Philadelphia."

But Nutter also warned: "If you point a weapon at any police officer, or law-enforcement person, there's a high probability you will get shot."

Now, after only a week on the job, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey is confronted twice with the use of deadly force by police. Last night, Ramsey said he would review both cases, and possibly have a news conference today.

Ramsey said that Timothy Goode had some guns registered to him, but no permit to carry them.

The commissioner, who was packing at his Washington, D.C., home last night to move here, could not recall whether Goode's 9 mm handgun, recovered by police, was registered.

Vanore said that at 9 p.m. Friday, undercover drug cops saw two males conducting "numerous" narcotics transactions on Clapier Street near Wayne Avenue.

At 9:23 p.m., an officer ordered them to stop. Officers arrested Stephan Siler, 27, of Abbottsford Avenue near Pulaski, for drug violations without incident.

The other male, identified as Timothy Goode, took off, running north on Clapier to Wayne Avenue to Logan Street, when he allegedly dropped the bag of crack vials, Vanore said.

The officer chasing Goode saw him turn with a gun in his right hand, and the officer fired twice, Vanore said. Goode fell. A 9 mm revolver was recovered near his body, and the drug bag was found nearby on Logan Street.

Goode was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital at 9:52 p.m. from two gunshot wounds in the back, said Vanore.

Emotions were running high on Pratt Street near Rutland, where Pamela and Timothy Goode Sr. have lived with their son and two daughters.

The couple called for the surveillance video to be released and for the cop who killed their son to be arrested.

Family members said they did not know Timothy Jr. to be involved with drugs.

Police "are painting a different story to justify what was done," said the victim's mother, Pamela.

She described her son as an apprentice electrician, who was at the top of his class and a member of the honor society at Mercy Vocational High School when he graduated recently.

In high school, he briefly worked as an intern in the D.A.'s office, she said. He was an aspiring musician, she added. He and his girlfriend were expecting a baby boy in May.

Neighbors told the family that police removed the videotape in the surveillance camera overlooking the drug corner.

"I want them to release the videotapes and arrest the police officer," said Goode's father. "They got cops running around with hoodies on. Did [the cops] announce themselves?"

His wife added: "He thought they were trying to rob him. Evidently, he had reason to be afraid, because he's not here."

Said his maternal aunt, Joyce Marshall: "I know cops are scared, but they had no reason to kill him like a dog. My son had to identify my nephew laying on the ground."

Some relatives claimed that Goode lay unattended for 45 minutes before a medic unit was called.

Dr. Gregory McDonald did the autopsy of Goode at the medical examiner's office. The cause of death was listed as multiple gunshot wounds - two - in the back, according to Jeff Moran, a spokesman for the office.

On Logan Street where Goode fell, outside an abandoned house, "R.I.P Tee" was scrawled on boards nailed across the windows. Three stuffed animals were nearby.

In the second incident, Vanore said, about 12:25 a.m. Saturday two uniformed officers assigned to combat violence were trying to disperse a crowd at 24th and Clifford streets, in North Philadelphia.

One officer approached a male, identified as Cephas, of 23rd Street near Edgley.

The other officer, standing nearby, saw Cephas slowly take his handgun out of his waistband and hold it down by his side, said Vanore.

"Drop the gun!" the officer shouted, before firing a fatal shot at Cephas' abdomen, said Vanore. He was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital at 1:04 a.m.

Earlier on Friday, Cephas had taken his girlfriend, who is in her seventh month of pregnancy, to Temple University Hospital because she was experiencing pain, said his mother, Lisa King.

"He was really worried about her. It was his first child," King said. "He promised his girlfriend he would return later that evening. He did return to the hospital that night, but was dead.

"I'm devastated," King said. "I am going to get to the bottom of what happened."

Copyright 2008 Philadelphia Daily News

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