Philippe Holland 20-year-old pizza deliveryman was shot after making a delivery on Tuesday night. Reports state that Holland was on his final delivery when approached by plainclothes officers, who attempted to stop him for questioning.
This incident is a matter which has the community and police force stunned. Holland was just an ordinary student working two jobs to pay his way through school. He was no criminal, and for that his shooting is being labeled as “a tragic misunderstanding.” As this young man is lying in the intensive-care unit Philadelphia police are scrambling to put the pieces together. The fact that unarmed Holland was shot three times reflects badly on the police force.
Outpouring compassion and remorse came from Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey on behalf of him and the entire force. He declared that he had no other words to say to the Holland family but sorry. Ramsey felt so deeply about this misunderstanding that he visited the Philadelphia University Hospital to see Holland and his family. Surprisingly the family was very receptive to Ramsey despite what transpired.
Although, all the details are not yet known in this incident, there are only a few things that can be confirmed. On Tuesday night, Holland took a call from Slices & More pizzeria. That call led him to familiar territory close by Upper Darby 69th Street Terminal – to 51st and Willows Avenue in West Philadelphia Cedar Park section. In between the time he arrived and delivered his last order, there were some gunshots nearby. Holland had no knowledge of this occurrence when he put his hoody on and headed back to the car. Around 10pm some plainclothes officers attempted to approach him. They were searching for the source of those random gunshots.
What happened past the point of their initial encounter has not been verified at this point. Most of what has been reported is speculation. The police made an effort to question him, but were unsuccessful. Ramsey states that Holland might have assumed they were trying to rob him, and made a run for his car. Consequently, Holland was shot three times in the vehicle. The cops supposedly shot Holland in fear of being struck by his car.
Lieutenant John Stanford also expressed how tragic the situation was, while noting the cops did not know Holland was a deliveryman. This statement was possibly given in attempt to verify the officer’s intentions for shooting this young man. However, no matter the intent their actions went against police protocol. The Philadelphia police directive instructive clearly states, “Police officers shall not discharge at or from a moving vehicle unless deadly force is being used against the police officer.”
The officers involved in this manner are no longer on the streets due to the current investigation. They have been re-assigned to the 18th District at 55th Pine Street to push papers, until further notice.
Philippe Holland is currently in the ICU at Philadelphia University Hospital fighting for his life. There is the possibility he may live, but he could be blind due to the bullet in his head. Nevertheless, his mother just wants him to be okay. Ramsey feels the young man will make a full recovery. When he does Ramsey wants him to know he will not be charged with anything
By: Schelett Rickenbacker