sunny.png
Thursday January 27th, 2022 12:28PM

DA criticized for handling of police shooting of 8-year-old

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

A hearing for a teenager charged with murder in the death of an 8-year-old girl hit by police gunfire was postponed Thursday as elected officials and activists stepped up their criticism of a prosecutor's handling of the case so far.

Authorities say Angelo Ford, 16, got into an argument and exchanged gunfire with another teen outside a high school football game in Sharon Hill last August when police, returning fire, hit several bystanders in the crowd. The little girl, Fanta Bility, was fatally wounded by an errant police bullet.

Prosecutors asserted that Ford and the other teen, 19-year-old Hasein Strand, should be held criminally liable for Fanta's death, charging them with first-degree murder and other offenses. Delaware County District Attorney Democrat Jack Stollsteimer, a first-term Democrat, has also convened a grand jury to investigate the police officers' use of deadly force. The grand jury is still doing its work.

Activists, civil rights lawyers and others excoriated Stollsteimer on Thursday over what they called his disparate treatment of the two Black teenagers — who face charges that could put them away for life — and officers who fired their guns in an area crowded with people who were leaving the stadium at the end of the game.

“What he has done is absolutely shameful,” said Sean Damon, organizing director of Amistad Law Project in Philadelphia, asserting that Stollsteimer “is offering up these young people ... as a distraction and a deflection away from holding the police accountable for what they did."

Damon was among dozens of people at a “Justice for Fanta” rally outside the Delaware County Courthouse in Media. The group demanded that Stollsteimer drop the premeditated murder charges against Ford and Strand, name the police officers, and charge them in Fanta's killing.

Stollsteimer’s office declined to comment on its handling of the case. The officers' names “will not be released by this office unless they are charged with a crime,” said Margie McAboy, Stollsteimer’s spokesperson.

Attorney Bruce Castor, who has filed lawsuits on behalf of Fanta’s family and bystanders who were injured, said he had advised the family to withhold judgment of the DA's performance, predicting major developments within days.

“I think that people in the community will feel dramatically different about how the case is being handled by this time next week,” Castor, who has also represented people who testified in front of the grand jury, said Thursday.

“It’s been my advice to the family to take a wait-and-see attitude for the short term,” said Castor, a former district attorney in neighboring Montgomery County. “I believe that the district attorney’s office is going to surprise a lot of people and makes decisions that are going to change the view that people have of the case.”

Ford’s preliminary hearing, scheduled for Thursday, was postponed. Strand waived a preliminary hearing that had been scheduled for Wednesday, according to the DA's office. Ford’s attorney, Mary Elizabeth Welch, declined to comment. A message was left for Strand's attorney, Mark Much.

Stollsteimer, who was elected on a reform agenda, has faced mounting criticism by members of his own party since charging the teens in November.

At least two Democratic committees in Delaware County urged Stollsteimer to recuse himself from the case and turn it over to the state attorney general's office, while five members of Philadelphia City Council released a statement Wednesday condemning what they called a “shocking miscarriage of justice.”

“The weight of this tragedy falls on the shoulders of the three officers who discharged their weapons that day. For the DA to attribute responsibility for this crime to these young Black men, while allowing the officers involved to get off scot-free, is indefensible,” their statement said.

Sharon Hill borough is a small community of about 5,700 residents less than 2 miles north of Philadelphia International Airport.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
DA criticized for handling of police shooting of 8-year-old
Elected officials and activists are harshly critical of a suburban Philadelphia prosecutor over his handling of the case of an 8-year-old girl hit by police gunfire
3:34PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Navient settles predatory student loan claims for $1.85B
Navient, a major student loan servicing company, has settled allegations of predatory lending practices for $1.85 billion
3:24PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Study: Stronger evidence linking virus to multiple sclerosis
A new study offers stronger evidence that one of the world's most common viruses may set some people on the path to developing multiple sclerosis
2:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
U.S. News
Biden all but concedes defeat on voting, election bills
All but acknowledging defeat, President Joe Biden now says he’s “not sure” his elections and voting rights legislation can pass Congress this year
3:12PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Atlanta opening new police precinct amid secession push
Atlanta’s recently elected mayor has unveiled a new police precinct in the city’s large Buckhead district as he tries to head off an effort to make it a separate city
2:45PM ( 58 minutes ago )
Russia won't rule out military deployment to Cuba, Venezuela
A senior Russian diplomat has refused to rule out a Russian military deployment to Cuba and Venezuela if tensions with the United States over Ukraine and NATO's expansion in Eastern Europe mount
2:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Bills no longer Pats patsy after wins in 3 of past 4 games
The Buffalo Bills are no longer the Patriots patsy in preparing to host New England in a wild-card playoff game on Saturday night
1:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Hawks trade Cam Reddish to Knicks for 2022 first-round pick
The struggling Atlanta Hawks have traded forward Cam Reddish to the New York Knicks for a protected 2022 first-round draft pick
1:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
Djokovic in Australian Open draw as visa saga continues
Novak Djokovic has remained in limbo even after he was included in the draw for the Australian Open, with the tennis star still awaiting a government decision on whether to deport him for not being vaccinated for COVID-19
10:21AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Sports
Shanahan, Quinn bring painful past to 49ers-Cowboys meeting
San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan and Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will always share the painful memory of coaching in the Super Bowl together with Atlanta five years ago
2:18AM ( 13 hours ago )
NFL regular-season ratings increase 10% over last season
An extra week of games, close finishes and a non-election year helped propel the NFL to its highest regular-season ratings in six years
6:54PM ( 20 hours ago )
Veteran safety Eric Weddle rejoining LA Rams for playoffs
Safety Eric Weddle is coming out of retirement to rejoin the Los Angeles Rams for the playoffs
4:14PM ( 23 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Queen removes Prince Andrew's military roles, patronages
Buckingham Palace says Queen Elizabeth II has stripped Prince Andrew of all his honorary military titles and royal roles in charities and other civic groups, amid a growing furor over allegations he sexually abused a teenage girl supplied to him by financier Jeffrey Epstein
1:38PM ( 2 hours ago )
GOP leader McCarthy says he won't cooperate with 1/6 panel
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is refusing a request by the House panel investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection to submit to an interview and turn over records pertaining to the deadly riot
1:24PM ( 2 hours ago )
Biden prods Senate, but Sinema blunts voting bill's chances
President Joe Biden is set to meet privately with Senate Democrats at the Capitol, a visit intended to deliver a jolt to the party’s long-stalled voting and elections legislation
1:19PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Biden highlighting federal 'surge' to help weather omicron
President Joe Biden is highlighting the federal government’s efforts to “surge” COVID-19 testing and medical personnel to help overwhelmed medical facilities
10:18AM ( 5 hours ago )
Thousands of federal inmates to be released under 2018 law
The Justice Department will begin transferring thousands of inmates out of federal prisons this week as part of a sweeping criminal justice overhaul signed by President Donald Trump more than three years ago
9:11AM ( 6 hours ago )
Abortion grows as priority issue for Democrats: AP-NORC poll
A new poll finds Democrats increasingly view protecting abortion rights as a high priority for the government as Roe v
12:10AM ( 15 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Navient settles predatory student loan claims for $1.85B
Navient, a major student loan servicing company, has settled allegations of predatory lending practices for $1.85 billion
3:24PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Biden all but concedes defeat on voting, election bills
All but acknowledging defeat, President Joe Biden now says he’s “not sure” his elections and voting rights legislation can pass Congress this year
3:12PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Atlanta opening new police precinct amid secession push
Atlanta’s recently elected mayor has unveiled a new police precinct in the city’s large Buckhead district as he tries to head off an effort to make it a separate city
2:45PM ( 58 minutes ago )
Russia won't rule out military deployment to Cuba, Venezuela
A senior Russian diplomat has refused to rule out a Russian military deployment to Cuba and Venezuela if tensions with the United States over Ukraine and NATO's expansion in Eastern Europe mount
2:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
Biden prods Senate, but Sinema dashes voting bill's chances
President Joe Biden is meeting privately with Senate Democrats at the Capitol, a visit intended to deliver a jolt to the party’s long-stalled voting and elections legislation
2:36PM ( 1 hour ago )