What to know
- Elected officials and activists sharply criticized a Philadelphia suburban prosecutor for his handling of the case of an 8-year-old girl who was likely hit by a police bullet.
- Two teenagers who shot each other outside a high school football game are facing first-degree murder charges in the death of Fanta Bility. Authorities said police responded to the teenagers’ shots by returning fire. The little girl and bystanders were hit by bullets. A grand jury is investigating a deadly use of force by officers.
- Activists, civil rights lawyers and others are charging DA Jack Stollsheimer with murdering the teenagers with premeditated murder while the police have so far not held the police accountable.
Hearing for a teenager charged with murder in The death of an 8-year-old girl was likely hit by a police bullet was adjourned on Thursday as elected officials and activists intensified their criticism of the prosecutor’s handling of the case so far.
Authorities say a 16-year-old got into an argument and gunfight with another teenager outside a high school football game in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, last August when police returned fire, shooting hit some eyewitnesses in the crowd. The girl, Fanta Bility, was likely fatally wounded by a police bullet.
Prosecutors asserted that the 16-year-old and another teenager, Hasein Strand, 19, were criminally responsible for Fanta’s death, charged with first-degree murder and other charges. Delaware County District Attorney, Democratic Commissioner Jack Stollsteimer, a first-term Democrat, also convened a grand jury to investigate the use of deadly force by police officers. The jury is still doing its job.
Activists, civil rights lawyers and others voiced outrage at Stollsteimer on Thursday over what they called his disparate treatment of two Black teenagers – who face on charges that could cost them their lives – and officers opened fire in a crowded area of people leaving the stadium late in the game.
“What he has done is absolutely shameful, asserting that Stollsteimer” is touting these young people … as a gift, said Sean Damon, organizational director of the Amistad Law Project in Philadelphia. distracted and diverted from holding the police accountable for what They did.”
Damon was among dozens of people taking part in a “Justice for Fanta” rally outside Delaware County Courthouse in the Media. The group asked Stollsteimer to drop the premeditated murder charge against the 16-year-old and Strand, name the police officers and charge them with Fanta’s murder.
Stollsheimer’s office declined to comment on its handling of the case. Margie McAboy, a spokeswoman for Stollsheimer, said the officers’ names “will not be released by this office unless they are charged”.
Attorney Bruce Castor, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Fanta’s family and those who witnessed the injury, said he has advised the family to refuse a ruling on the DA’s operations, anticipating major developments in the coming years. some days.
Castor, who has also represented those who testified before the grand jury, said on Thursday: “I think people in the community will feel significantly differently how the case is handled at this point in time. next week.
“My advice to families is to have a short-term wait-and-see attitude,” said Castor, a former district attorney in neighboring Montgomery County. “I believe the district attorney’s office will surprise many people and make a decision that will change people’s opinion on the case.”
The 16-year-old’s preliminary hearing, scheduled for Thursday, has been adjourned. Strand waived a preliminary hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday, according to the DA’s office. The 16-year-old’s attorney, Mary Elizabeth Welch, declined to comment. A message was left for Strand’s attorney, Mark Many.
Stollsheimer, who was elected on a reform agenda, has faced growing criticism from members of his own party since then. charge youth fees in November.
At least two Democratic committees in Delaware County urged Stollsteimer to reuse the case and turn it over to the state attorney general’s office, while five members of the Philadelphia City Council issued a statement Wednesday. condemn what they call “shocking justice”.
“The weight of this tragedy fell on the shoulders of the three officers who dropped their weapons that day. The fact that the DA attributes responsibility for this crime to these young black men, while also allowing the officers involved to go out unnecessarily, is indisputable,” their statement said. .
Sharon Hill County is a small community of about 5,700 residents less than 2 miles north of Philadelphia International Airport.
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/delaware-county-da-criticized-for-handling-of-police-shooting-of-8-year-old-fanta-bility/3106696/ Delaware County DA Jack Stollsteimer Criticized For Handling Police Officer Who Killed Fanta Bility – NBC10 Philadelphia