Off-Duty Cop Body-Slammed 14-Year-Old, Left Him With Skull Fracture, Says Family

skull

At the start, it was just kids being kids.

Around 5:45 p.m. on May 11th, Naji Tribble, a 14-year-old Brewerytown resident, and four friends stopped by a Dollar Tree near the corner of 26th Street and Girard Avenue as part of the group’s afternoon routine of checking out the stores up and down Girard. After buying some snacks, the boys decided to go next door for the first time to Steelworks Strength Systems, a new gym that had recently replaced a state store they’d never been allowed to enter.

The boys, all of whom are black, went into the gym through a propped-open side door and spent a few minutes lingering over the equipment as they made their way toward the building’s front entrance. Naji says that a group of mostly white men who were working out began cursing at them and demanding that they leave, some of them resorting to racial slurs as they chased them out. (Gym management declined to comment.)

After they left the building, Naji says, a few of the boys turned to throw stones at a white gym patron who had followed them out onto Girard Avenue. While the other boys began to run away, Naji continued to walk away at a normal pace because, he says, he “didn’t do anything wrong.” Around the intersection of Girard and College avenues, the man caught up with Naji, who is roughly four feet tall and about 70 pounds, and allegedly gripped him by the shirt, threatened him, and called him a “little nigger” repeatedly.

Once the man released him, Naji ran to his house nearby to tell his parents. His father, Alfred Tribble, 57, was upstairs asleep, racked with grief over a cousin who had been pronounced dead earlier that day after being shot in Northeast Philadelphia. Naji’s mother, Antoinette, 47, was downstairs with his 19-year-old sister, Nayanda. When Naji said what had happened, Nayanda stormed out the door with him as their mother put on her shoes and attempted to call Alfred down.

The following account of what happened next — a violent encounter with an off-duty police officer, a hospital arrest, bureaucratic runaround, and nearly three weeks of increasingly concerning medical visits for Naji that culminated in an emergency admission to CHOP on May 31st and the discovery that he had a fractured skull — was assembled from multiple interviews with the family, neighbors who witnessed the incident, and Naji himself. Police will confirm only that the family’s complaint is being investigated, and the officers allegedly involved have not been available for comment.

The sounds of a man yelling had already begun to draw neighbors from their homes as Naji and his family returned to the intersection of Girard and College. The situation almost immediately took an unexpected and brutal turn.

“The man was still down the street from us,“ says Nayanda, “and when I went over to him, he choked-slammed me to the ground. Next thing I know, he grabs Naji and slams his head to the ground …. I can hear his head hit against the pavement.”

“By the time I get out the door, I see this man grabbing my son and throwing him to the ground … I run over and he pushes me down,” says Antoinette. “I remained on the ground holding my son. I knew then that he was injured badly.”

By this point, around 6 p.m., roughly 20 neighbors had gathered and began to confront the man, later identified in an incident report as Kevin Furman, an off-duty Philadelphia police officer. As some of the neighbors argued with Furman and others were caring for Antoinette and her children, an unknown individual called 911 for police and an ambulance. The commotion woke up Alfred Tribble, who soon noticed that his front door had been left open. He ran to the now-chaotic scene in a mood that he described as “angered.”

“I wanted to know what happened to my family … I saw my son laying on the ground barely conscious,” Alfred says. “The string of cop cars began to come, and that’s when Kevin Furman starts playing victim.”

For the full story visit : http://www.phillymag.com/news/2017/06/06/police-assault-allegations-naji-tribble/#hd8edJKX3EDKprs5.99

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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