More cops pulled from Philly steets

May 9, 2008 4:12:06 AM PDT
Seven more police officers were taken off street duty Thursday as investigators look into the videotaped police beating of three shooting suspects during a traffic stop. Thirteen of the estimated 15 officers on hand during the Monday incident have been taken off the streets as investigators pore over the television news footage, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told a news conference Thursday.

The video shows officers kicking, punching and beating the men, who are all black. On his syndicated radio show Thursday, the Rev. Al Sharpton, compared it with the videotaped 1991 beating of black motorist Rodney King by a group of white Los Angeles police officers.

"I've not seen anything like that since Rodney King, and it's worse than Rodney King, and we cannot allow our community to be under siege," Sharpton said. "We've got to stop this nonsense in our community, acting like you got to be a certain level black to be treated within the law."

But Ramsey denied the beating was racially motivated, saying at least one officer involved, a sergeant, is black.

"I know everybody's trying to make this into a racial thing. I don't believe it is," Ramsey told The Associated Press later Thursday. "We just had a policeman murdered on Saturday ... and emotions are running high," he said about Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, 39, who was shot while responding to a bank robbery.

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