Pennsylvania Record

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Father of man rendered brain-damaged sues Philadelphia Police

By Jon Campisi | Aug 6, 2011

Larry coben

The father of a man who has been rendered incapacitated, allegedly due to the actions of a few Philadelphia police officers, is suing on behalf of his son.

The lawsuit was originally filed in June of this year but on Aug. 5 the case was transferred over the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys Larry E. Coben and Michael C. Schafle, of the firm Anapl, Schwartz, Weiss, Cohan, Feldman & Smalley, on behalf of John Snowden of Northwest Philadelphia.

John Snowden is listed as the plenary guardian of his son, Khalif Snowden.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are the City of Philadelphia, city police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, and Philadelphia police officers named only as John Doe(s) 1-12.

According to the complaint, Khalif Snowden was walking in the area of Indiana Avenue and Gransback streets in Philadelphia on Feb. 18 of this year when, “for reasons currently unknown,” he was chased by the group of police officers, who were yelling and running toward him.

“Out of fear for his life stemming from prior incidents involving officers from the PPD, Mr. Snowden began to run away from the defendant officers who were giving chase,” the lawsuit states.

Eventually, the officers caught up to Snowden and began “relentlessly beating” him for “no apparent reason.”

“Khalif Snowden offered no physical resistance to the assault by the defendant officers during this time,” the suit claims.

The officers continued to beat Khalif Snowden for several minutes while he lay motionless on the ground, the lawsuit alleges.

Snowden was rendered unconscious because of the attack, and he stopped breathing, which, in turn, caused him to suffer massive cellular brain damage, according to the lawsuit.

Snowden also suffered injuries to his head, face, eyes and body because of the beating, which also included the use of a Taser gun.

Snowden was not offered immediate medical attention by the officers, and had to be transported to Temple University Hospital where he underwent treatment for his injuries, the lawsuit states.

Snowden was eventually transferred to a nursing home for care. He has not regained consciousness since the alleged incident.

The lawsuit contains counts of assault and battery and inadequate training, hiring and supervision of the city’s police force.

For each of the counts listed, the plaintiff seeks judgment against the defendants in an amount in excess of $50,000, plus pre-and-post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, punitive damages and other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-05041-RB.

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