A Philadelphia police officer has been charged with assault for an alleged bar fight. The officer became furious when someone put on hip-hop or R&B music, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The same cop was arrested in 2011 and charged with hitting his wife. The Fraternal Order of Police saved his job. Something is loading.
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A Philadelphia police officer has been arrested and charged with assault after an internal investigation found he became enraged when someone at a local bar played hip-hop or R&B music, reported Wednesday The Philadelphia Inquirer, with the affidavit of his arrest accusing him of punching three people during the incident, including a detective.
A Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson told Insider that the officer, Sgt. James Graber Jr. was arrested March 9 “then suspended for 30 days with intent to fire him.” He faces charges of aggravated and simple assault, threatening terrorism and reckless endangerment, the Inquirer reported.
The same officer was arrested in 2011 and charged with common assault and reckless endangerment after being accused of punching his estranged wife in the face at another bar. The department attempted to fire him after the incident – which saw Graber enter a diversion program at the request of his former partner – but was thwarted by the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, who filed a union grievance to have him reinstated.
There were other incidents.
Last year, the officer, who is white, went viral after a video was posted online showing him losing his temper and becoming physically aggressive during an interaction with a black family in their home; in the video, another officer, a black woman, can be seen restraining him.
And in 2013, the Inquirer reported, Graber was also suspended on abuse of authority charges while serving with the city’s bomb disposal unit. The police union again intervened and successfully overturned the disciplinary action.
As Insider reported, some police unions seek to prevent officers accused of wrongdoing from losing their jobs, even when department heads — themselves often accused of being too soft on bad cops — don’t want to. more of them in the force. In Philadelphia, in particular, the local FOP has intervened dozens of times in recent years to prevent officers accused of wrongdoing from losing their jobs.
John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia FOP chapter since 2007, is an outspoken critic of criminal justice reform who has accused local district attorney Larry Krasner of being soft on crime. In 2016, McNesby made headlines after endorsing former President Donald Trump and then going to the White House to condemn so-called progressive prosecutors.
“The criminals know there are no repercussions,” he said in 2021.
An FOP spokesperson told Insider that, this time around, the union “does not represent the officer and has no further comment.”
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