3 cops charged with skipping 8-year-old football game, each issued $500,000 bond

Three police officers have been charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment for killing 8-year-old Fanta Ability and injuring three others outside a football match in Philadelphia.

Devon Smith, Sean Dolan and Brian Devaney—three Sharon Hill police officers—have been charged with 12 criminal counts of manslaughter and reckless endangerment for their actions, according to a news release from the Delaware County District Attorney’s office. Bail is set at $500,000 for each defendant.

Two teens, Angelo “AJ” Ford, 16, and Haseen Strand, 19, get into an argument for gunning outside a football game in Sharon Hill. According to the Associated Press, investigators said officers fired shots, left the game, opened fire on the crowd and hit a car.

Prior to Tuesday’s ruling, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stolsteimer wanted each of the teens to be charged with first-degree murder because their actions triggered the events that led to Billy’s death. However, he faced opposition and was asked to drop the charges.

“We want to be clear that these two young men deserve to face the appropriate consequences for their actions—but the way this case has unfolded is contrary to logic,” Philadelphia City Council members said in a statement. “

“I fully feel the tragic death of Fanta and the trauma on her family, other victims and members of the community involved, is affecting everyone emotionally, including investigators and prosecutors,” Stollstimer said in a statement. “Nobody touched by this incident will ever be the same. I hope today’s announcement will help the community to recover through the knowledge that all persons who wield guns that night will be punished for their actions under our laws.” being held responsible.”

Media, protesters at the Delaware County Courthouse in Pennsylvania on January 13, 2022, demand police accountability in the death of 8-year-old Fanta Ability, who was shot outside a football game. Three police officers have been charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment after firing their weapons at a crowd of people exiting a high school football game outside Philadelphia, killing Billy and injuring three others.
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Strand pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and illegal possession of a firearm. According to a news release, he will serve anywhere from 32 to 64 months in prison.

Ford still faces charges of attempting to “kill Strand,” but his preliminary hearing has been postponed.

Sharon Hill solicitor, Sean Kilkenny, said council plans to vote on a resolution to sack the three charged officers later this week in light of recent findings.

Joseph Fitzgerald, president of the Delaware County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27, supported the officers in a statement to the Associated Press.

“It’s a sad day for our officers, who face criminal charges for trying to do their job and keep the community safe,” Fitzgerald said. “The FOP continues to support these fine officers and will provide a vigorous defense against these allegations.”

According to a statement issued by members of the Philadelphia City Council, police fired 25 rounds of bullets into the street, raising questions about his training, judgment and fitness to serve.

“As taxpayers who provide salaries for police officers, residents must be competent law enforcement professionals who maintain public safety and protect the peace,” the statement said.

After the shooting, city officials hired an outside firm to audit the police department’s policies and training.

Fanta Qualification Officer Devne Dolan Smith
In this photo provided by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office on January 18, 2022, Sharon Hill police officers, from left, Brian Devaney, Sean Dolan and Devon Smith are shown. Three police officers have been charged with manslaughter and reckless endangerment after firing their weapons at a crowd of people exiting a high school football game outside Philadelphia, killing 8-year-old Fanta Bilitti and injuring three. Have become.
Delaware County District Attorney’s Office/Associated Press

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