AP: Pennsylvania being urged to join states making police records of discipline accessible

AP PA Headlines 6/21/20

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — With some states taking a fresh look at strengthening measures to hold police officers accountable, lawmakers in Pennsylvania are being urged to join states that make police department records of discipline accessible to the public. The NAACP and ACLU support making those records public. Thus far, no such legislation is part of a reform package put forward by Democratic lawmakers, and a bill advancing in the House of Representatives would require some department-to-department disclosure of discipline records during the hiring process for a police officer. But, it would leave those records out of the public’s reach in Pennsylvania, and the state’s largest police unions are against making those records public.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a woman held without bail pending trial on charges of having set fire to two police vehicles during civil disorder in Philadelphia that followed g protests last month. U.S. Magistrate Judge Marilyn Heffley on Friday sided with prosecutors who argued that 33-year-old Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal was a danger to the community and a potential flight risk. After peaceful afternoon protests May 30 were followed by widespread property destruction, burglary and arson, a police sedan and a sport utility vehicle parked near City Hall were torched. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that defense attorney Paul Heznecker vowed an appeal, saying nothing in his client’s background warranted detention.

WILKINSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Authorities in western Pennsylvania are seeking a man and a vehicle seen in the area of a shooting that claimed the lives of two men and a woman in Wilkinsburg. Officials said an officer on routine patrol heard gunshots on Coal Street at about 1:30 a.m. Friday, and then a second round of shots. Arriving officers found the bodies of 43-year-old Oliver Andrew Finley of Wilkinsburg and 43-year-old Tara Alice Joseph of Pitcarin near a car. The body of 51-year-old Harold Hicks of Pittsburgh was found in a pickup truck down the street near Hunter Park. Investigators said the three knew each other,

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