Voice appearing to be Philadelphia police officer responds to taunt

The whole video lasts just 44 seconds. We've blurred the faces of the officers because we've not been able to identify them for their side of the story. However, the audio-- difficult as it may be to hear-- tells the story.

- The whole video lasts just 44 seconds. We've blurred the faces of the officers because we've not been able to identify them for their side of the story. However, the audio-- difficult as it may be to hear-- tells the story. A FOX 29 viewer sent us the video.

The video shows two white Philadelphia police officers looking for information from several young black men on a city street corner. The conversation quickly goes sideways and the cops order the men to disperse.         

On the video, one of the black men is heard to saying, "Come on y'all, they might be gonna shoot us."

 A voice that appears to be one of the officers replies:  "Not all of you-- just one."  The camera turns so you can't see the person.

FOX 29 caught up with Police Commissioner Richard Ross at a Hero Thrill Show preview event and played him the video. 

"There's no doubt the context is difficult to deny.  We’ve going to have to figure out who made that comment and obviously it's highly inappropriate," said Commissioner Ross.

Consider the state of relations between police and the African-American community. On one hand, incidents in Tulsa and now Charlotte in which cops kill men who may or not be an actual threat. On the other, right here in Philadelphia, an officer targeted-- ambushed-- by a black man in January. And a police sergeant released from the hospital days after being ambushed by a black man in a shooting rampage last Friday night.

There is frustration on both sides.      

 "Oh, it's tough.  We're under-manned, under equipped. The attitude toward police has changed everywhere around the country. We've seen that," said John McNesby, with the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police.

"They're not facing justice.  It's open season when it comes to law enforcement targeting black and brown people," said Asa Khalif with Philadelphia Black Lives Matter.

African-American officers can feel stuck in the middle sometimes verbally abused by members of the minority community for seeming to be on the "wrong side of the debate."

The president of the union representing black, Hispanic and Asian police says cops must practice what they preach and it doesn't happen very often.

"You just have to stand up for the truth.  Stand up for what's right.  If there's a bad cop out there, the good cops need to stand up against that," said Rochelle Bilal.

In the midst of the bitterness and name-calling, FOX 29 ran into Jacqueline Wilson near City Hall. She is a lifelong resident of Philadelphia.

Her daughter-in-law is a cop.  She wears a "Black Lives Matter bracelet. Jacqueline's view of the stand off between cops and their community. "We don't seem to give them the respect they deserve.  And they don't give us the respect we deserve.  And until that is cleared up, we're gonna have a race riot out here," she said.

Commissioner Ross promises a full investigation into the "shooting" comment. His views echo those of Wilson that bridges must be built and that starts with viewing the "other" as more than the color of skin or the color of a uniform.

 

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