In Tyree Carroll Police Beating Case, Judge Rules Vs Police 


Press release... Press release... Press release...
DATE:  February 17, 2017
WHO: Justice4Tyree Campaign

WHAT: Police stop of Tyree Carroll who they beat was illegal, Judge rules

CONTACT:  Prof Dorothy Roberts  215-573-2155   Phoebe Jones  215-848-1120

Tyree Carroll


In a strong rebuke of police involved in the 2015 beating of Mr Tyree Carroll,  Judge Kai Scott ruled at a Wednesday February 15 hearing in favor of Mr Tyree Carroll’s motion to suppress, or keep out of trial, drugs that were allegedly seized from him following an illegal stop by the same police that seconds after the stop began to beat him.

Judge Scott said that Mr Carroll had been doing nothing wrong on April 3, 2015 when he was stopped by police while riding his bike and beaten by the three officers who illegally stopped him.  These three officers were soon joined by about a dozen others.  Following the stop and beating, Mr. Carroll was arrested and eventually charged with possession of the drugs and two counts of aggravated assault against the police who were beating him.   In a strongly worded and clear ruling,  Judge Scott said that Mr. Carroll had the right to leave and walk away from the police, and that the police had no legal right to restrain him.

Judge Scott stated again the facts of the case: that Mr Carroll had been riding his bicycle near where he lives, that he was in normal conversation with two people who were under surveillance, but who were not arrested or charged, that the police had recognized and known Mr Carroll and therefore had no need to ask for his ID, and that Mr Carroll had tried to walk away casually.  Her ruling rejected the claims made by the prosecutor that the police were within their rights to talk to Mr Carroll as a “mere encounter” and that Mr Carroll’s subsequent "assault” would have led to the recovery of the drugs.  The Court rejected this argument, correctly ruling that but for the initial illegal police action, there would not have been any subsequent encounter leading to the alleged drug seizure.


The previous day the prosecution called one of the arresting officers to the stand who testified to punching and kicking Mr Carroll and calling him foul names.  The prosecution admitted the video of the beating into evidence and the judge viewed it twice.  Mr Carroll spent 5 months in jail because the illegal arrest violated his parole for a previous minor conviction.

The prosecution has 30 days to file an appeal and a hearing on that is scheduled for March 16, 2017.  If there is an appeal, the decision gets reviewed by Superior Court which could take months to decide.  The prosecution will then decide whether or not to pursue its case against Mr Carroll for the remaining aggravated assault charges. 

"The prosecution will have a hard time trying to defend the vicious beating caught on video when Mr Carroll had been doing nothing wrong and was within his rights" said Michael Wiseman, the lead attorney for Mr Carroll.  Co-counsel Mr Berto Elmore said, “We fought for justice.  I couldn't stand to see another Black man beaten by the Philadelphia police have to take a plea.”  Also part of Mr Carroll's legal team is Mr Shaka Johnson who represents him on the related parole violation matter.

Professor Dorothy Roberts for the Justice4Tyree Support Campaign says: This is a victory for Tyree Carroll and his family who have persevered against all odds in getting justice, for all who have faced police racism, illegality and violence, for other Black men and women beaten by police, and for the multi-racial group of supporters, women and men, who have come out to every hearing for almost two years and worked to get this in the public eye.  This was a racist attack and part of an on-going pattern of institutional racism by law enforcement.  We won't rest until the police who did this, and those who let them get away with it, are held to account so that this doesn't happen to anyone, including Tyree, ever again."

Mr Carroll was encouraged by the ruling, but stated, "I'm still nervous.  I don't want the cops to kick my ass again because I beat the case."

The courtroom has had a constant stream of family members and supporters at every hearing since the hearings began in April 2015. There to hear the verdict was Mr Carroll's sister, brother, young nieces, and several supporters.  Unfortunately his grandmother -- who hadn't missed a hearing and who has been beside her grandson every step of the way despite the stress and being in a wheelchair and in ill health -- had been taken to the hospital that morning and was not there to mark the occasion.   


The Justice for Tyree Campaign are family members and others in Philadelphia and around the country who have come together to press for Justice for Tyree Carroll.