On May 4, 2016, a Philadelphia police officer fatally shot 52-year-old Richard Ferretti while he was searching for a parking spot in an area around St. Joseph’s University. Last November, we featured a detailed and extensive blog post about the Richard Ferretti police shooting. In addition, Philadelphia magazine did a piece on the story and now, The Philadelphia Inquirer has published an article on the incident and where things stand one year later.
As we recounted in the November blog post, prior to the shooting, police received a call around 1 am regarding a “suspicious” minivan driving near the intersection of 63rd Street and Overbrook Avenue. At the time, Richard was returning from the gas station. He was driving a purple Dodge Caravan. He and his girlfriend lived together near St. Joseph’s University and he had gone to the gas station to get gas for their other vehicle.
Undercover police officers in the area, tracked down Richard’s minivan as he was driving around his neighborhood looking for parking. The undercover officers called for backup. Uniformed police officers in a squad car responded. The squad car pulled up behind Richard’s minivan and turned on their flashing lights. According to police, Richard did not stop driving, which they say prompted the undercover police officers to pull in front of Richard’s van in an unmarked police car to cut him off.
The undercover officers then exited their vehicle and ordered Richard to turn off his van’s engine. However, police say he pulled forward instead. At that time, one of the officers pulled out his gun and shot Richard four times. Witnesses allege that they could hear Richard yelling “I’m stopping!” prior to being shot.
As reported in The Philadelphia Inquirer article, the last time a Philadelphia police officer was charged with shooting a civilian while in the line of duty, Bill Clinton was still President. During that time, over 1,000 police shootings have occurred. The Richard Ferretti case could break that streak. Following the tragic incident, Richard’s family hired Eisenberg Rothweiler Winkler Eisenberg & Jeck to file a lawsuit against the city. Recently, Eisenberg Rothweiler Winkler Eisenberg & Jeck attorneys Ken Rothweiler and Todd Schoenhaus, who are representing the family in the case, learned that the investigation has been given to a grand jury.
When asked about his thoughts on what he expects when the grand jury announces its findings, Ken Rothweiler said, “We’ll find out soon whether they’ll indict the officer. It seems pretty simple to me. What was the officer who shot and killed our client in fear of? They’ll have to concoct some story that [Ferretti] made some subtle movement so they’d therefore be justified.”
Richard was a talented chef and left behind a loving family in addition to his girlfriend. They just want the truth about what happened to Richard to come out and for justice to prevail.
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In the video below, personal injury lawyer Fred Eisenberg discusses a case our firm handled involving a student who was paralyzed on a school trip. We pursued an injury claim against Stuyvesant High School and the City of New York and the case resulted in the City of New York paying the highest settlement in its history to our client.
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