Philly cop suspended for giving false testimony in gun case

Philly cop suspended for giving false testimony in gun case
Brett_Hondow / Pixabay

We’ve long argued that part of the reason we should oppose gun control is simply that it doesn’t work. While our rights are paramount, at least for me, I also get that it’s not a winning argument for people who have long rejected the idea, so I tend to approach it from an “it doesn’t work” angle.

Yet there’s another reason we should be cautious about not just gun control laws, but any law, and that’s how it may be misused to jam up innocent people.

We’ve seen New Jersey, for example, blatantly misinterpret peaceable journey laws to arrest gun owners. It’s a problem, but a now-former police officer in Philadelphia did something even worse.

A Philadelphia police officer has been charged with perjury and other counts after investigators say he gave false statements and testimony in the arrest of a person accused of a firearms violation.

Officer Daniel Levitt was arrested Thursday morning, a police spokesman said. The 12-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department was also suspended with the intent that he will be fired after 30 days, police said.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office charged Levitt with perjury, official oppression and unsworn false statements. Prosecutors said he turned himself in and was released on his own recognizance.

It seems that in 2021, the Philadelphia Police Department performed an audit on all firearm arrests and notice some…issues.

Prosecutors said the initial arrest involved a car stop where a van allegedly ran through a stop sign. Three officers including Levitt were involved. Prosecutors said Levitt asked the passenger to get out of the car, and initiated a search of the van.

Levitt noted in his report and testified during a preliminary hearing that the gun in question was visible, sticking out of an unzipped bag.

But prosecutors said Thursday that the gun was inside a closed bag that was opened by Levitt during the search. They allege there was no reason for the search based on the initial allegations of running a stop sign.

Illegal search and seizure is a problem, and it’s something every gun owner has a reason to be concerned about.

Yet this individual was charged with carrying without a permit. That’s something that many of us, myself included, think shouldn’t even be a crime.

This wasn’t a felon in possession of a firearm or something with a restraining order against them. Every indication we have is that this is just someone traveling with a firearm. With it in the bag, it wasn’t even easily accessible.

What’s worse is that all of this was on body cam and this officer was able to get away with it for any length of time.

See, the more laws you have, the more opportunity you provide unscrupulous officers. While there are great police officers out there and many more who are just good, you’re always going to have a few who are willing to do whatever for whatever reason.

Remove the laws, remove the ability for these officers to lie in order to claim an arrest.

I can’t help but wonder just why the officer would want to lie on this one. My guess is political pressure to make gun arrests–something we’ve seen in countless cities–led to the officer looking for an opportunity to make a bust.

Well, something went bust, anyway. It just happened to be his career.

After what I covered on Thursday, it makes me wonder just what the hell is going on in Philly, anyway.