View Full Version : White Philly Officer Used 'Poor Tactics' in Deadly Shooting of Black Unarmed Man and Will Be Fired

The Bobster
12-30-2017, 09:55 AM

Plainclothes Officer Kills Man who Tried to Hit Police Car
The man allegedly hit some plainclothes officers while trying to flee a traffic stop before he was killed.
By NBC10 Staff
Published at 11:59 AM EST on Dec 28, 2017 | Updated at 10:47 PM EST on Dec 29, 2017

A man who allegedly hit plainclothes officers with his car while trying to flee a traffic stop Wednesday night in Northwest Philadelphia was shot and killed by one of the officers, officials said.

The man was unarmed and turned out not to be the subject of a homicide investigation that initially prompted officers to pull him over, First Deputy Commissioner Myron Patterson said at a press conference Thursday.

Police identified the man as Dennis Plowden, 25, of the 1600 block of E. Walnut Lane. They released a more detailed account of the incident a few hours after Patterson's press conference.

Dennis Plowden

According to police, the incident began just after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on Ogontz Avenue, when the plainclothed officers saw a 2013 Hyundai that was wanted in connection with a homicide earlier this month.

At 16th Street and Nedro Avenue, the man stopped his car, police said. A woman was in the front passenger seat.

As the officers got out of their unmarked car, Plowden accelerated the Hyundai, striking the police car and "contacting the officer," the police statement read. Plowden drove off.

Officers found his Hyundai shortly afterward with "extensive damage" and saw several other cars with damage, according to the police statement. Plowden got out of the car and tried to run away; he did not respond to officer commands to show his hands, police said.

Plowden was on the sidewalk when he put his hand in his pocket, police said. One officer fired and shot him in the head, police said. He was pronounced dead Thursday morning at Albert Einstein Medical Center.

Plowden's family was left trying to make sense of the shooting.

"Why did you shoot this man in his head?" asked his wife, Tania Bond. "He was unarmed. He was not dangerous."

Witnesses told NBC10 that they heard the officers shouting commands, and that they also heard Plowden saying he was hurt.

Plowden was a father of two. He did not have a gun, investigators said.

One police officer was transported to Temple University Hospital for injuries to his right arm and hand, police said. He was treated and released. The woman in the car suffered bruises and abrasions from the crash.

The officers involved in the shooting have not yet been identified, though Patterson said Thursday that they would be within 72 hours.

Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting, Patterson said.

Mayor Jim Kenney issued a statement about the incident Thursday night.

"My prayers are with the family and friends of Dennis Plowden," Kenney's statement read. "It is always tragic to lose someone you love. I am relieved there were no serious injuries to the officer or to the other passenger in the car."

Kenney said the city's Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit would do a full investigation. "I look forward to them coming to a speedy resolution for the sake of Mr. Plowden, his family, the officers and for Philadelphia."

The Bobster
11-01-2018, 03:21 PM

Philly Officer Who Shot, Killed Unarmed Man to Be Fired
Published Oct 31, 2018 at 5:06 PM | Updated at 10:40 PM EDT on Oct 31, 2018
By David Chang


A Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man in the Germantown section of the city last year will be fired, Police Commissioner Richard Ross announced Wednesday.

Ross said Officer Eric Ruch Jr., 30, was not justified in using lethal force when he shot Dennis Plowden, 25, on the night of Dec. 27, 2017.

Investigators say Plowden was driving a 2013 Hyundai northbound on Ogontz Avenue shortly after 8:30 p.m. that night. A 27-year-old woman was sitting in the passenger seat.

Ruch, who was in an unmarked vehicle at the time, spotted the Hyundai, which was wanted in connection to a homicide, investigators said. Ruch then requested other units respond to the area to assist.

Ruch followed Plowden to the intersection of 16th Street and Nedro Avenue and stopped his vehicle. Three more officers then responded to the scene. As the officers approached the vehicle, Plowden allegedly accelerated, striking the passenger door of a police car and hitting an officer. He then continued down Nedro Avenue at a high speed, police said.

Officers momentarily lost sight of the Hyundai but then found two parked vehicles with extensive damage on the 1900 block of Nedro Avenue.

The officers then spotted the Hyundai across the street and saw Plowden, who was unarmed, sitting on a sidewalk with his hand placed in his jacket pocket, according to investigators. The officers aimed their weapons at Plowden and ordered him several times to show his hands, officials said. Ruch then fired one shot, striking Plowden in the left hand and the head.

Plowden was taken to the Einstein Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.

The Philadelphia Police Department’s Use of Force Review Board investigated the shooting and determined Plowden was dazed and confused at the time of the incident. On Wednesday, Commissioner Ross announced that Ruch was suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

Ross also said that Ruch used poor tactics when he opened fire on Plowden and "did not display the proper handling or discharge of his department issued firearm," in according with the department's use of force policy.

“The officer should’ve taken advantage of cover and concealment as the other three officers did,” Ross said. :rolleyes: “This would’ve afforded him the opportunity to deescalate the situation where time was on his side. The other officers did not fire.”

It’s unknown at this time whether the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office will pursue charges against Ruch, who is a 10-year veteran of the 35th District.

The December incident was the second time Ruch was involved in a shooting last year. He was one of three officers placed on administrative duty following the shooting of Tyler Nichols, an alleged drug dealer, back on Feb. 15, 2017.

The shooting occurred in the East Germantown section of Northwest Philadelphia, which is also where Plowden was shot. During the incident Ruch and two other officers tried to stop the suspect as he left what was described at the time as a "known drug house."

Nichols, who suffered bullet wounds to his torso and legs, was arrested. A gun which came back stolen from Upper Darby was recovered by police.

The Fraternal Order of Police released a statement regarding Officer Ruch.

“We will represent officer Eric Ruch Jr. against these latest allegations," they wrote. "Our attorneys will gather all the facts of the case and appropriately defend the officer.”