On February 13, a popular Philadelphia police officer was killed in the line of duty. 25-year-old Officer John Pawlowski was shot by Rasheed Scrugs, a career criminal that was due in court the following Monday for his latest car theft bust. Since then Officer Pawlowski’s photograph was placed as a memorial in the roll-call room of the 35th District, a room that doubles as the courtroom of Municipal Court Judge Craig M. Washington.
Judge Craig M. Washington was not as reverent of the memorial as everyone else, however, and requested the photo of the fallen officer be removed from his “courtroom.” Judge Washington went to several police officials demanding that the memorial photos be removed. When police officials refused the request, Judge Washington decided to rip down the memorial himself.
Naturally, the Federal Order of Police and officers of the 35th District were not amused. In fact, they were incensed.
“For him to come in here and just take his picture down is just a disrespect not only to his family but to us because he’s a part of our family,” [35th District Officer Elisa] Diaz said.
The FOP was just as unhappy as Officer Diaz.
“Not only are we having a direct threat from the repeat violent offenders who are out on the street. We’re having a direct threat from the bench,” Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby said.
Naturally, the coward in black robes refused to issue a statement.
Whatever Judge Washington’s mental disorder, he caught his colleagues unawares and flatfooted.
Through a spokesperson, President Judge Marsha Neifield said afterward that Washington would not be in the 35th District for the rest of the week, but that municipal court hearings in the district would not be suspended.
“We have to take a deep breath and review the situation….It’s too early to know if he will be back,” said the spokesperson, Jeff Jubelirer.
Here we have more evidence of the arrogant and out-of-control judiciary we have begun to loathe in this day and age. The insensitivity to the police officers and the complete unnecessary nature of Washington’s actions bespeaks of a man with a temperament ill-suited to his role as a judge.
The judiciary in this country needs to be taken down a notch. Impeachment is a tool not used nearly enough.