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Philadelphia Police Commissioner Resigns Amid Department Allegations

Mayor Jim Kenney said the department didn't take action to address "underlying cultural issues that too often negatively impact women."
Posted at 9:04 AM, Aug 21, 2019

Philadelphia's police force is undergoing a change in leadership. 

Commissioner Richard Ross resigned.  

Mayor Jim Kenney announced the resignation in a statement Tuesday.  

In it he said, "New allegations of sexual harassment as well as gender and racial discrimination among the rank and file have been brought to my attention." 

The allegations don't accuse Ross, but Kenney said he didn't think the police department has taken action to address "underlying cultural issues that too often negatively impact women — especially women of color."  

Two women on the force filed a lawsuit against the city and several members of the department. One woman claims Ross ignored her complaints of sexual harassment because of an alleged affair between the two, in the amended suit. 

Ross has not responded to requests for comment. 

This comes after a slew of issues for the department:  

The latest involved 72 officers accused of posting offensive social media posts

Before that, police recruits resigned after trying to cheat on an open-book exam. 

And a judge overturned a gun conviction against rapper Meek Mill after a decision accused a Philadelphia officer of engaging in criminal activity. 

Ross was sworn in as commissioner in 2016. His career at the department started in 1989. 

Kenney said Ross was a terrific asset, but believes "his resignation is in the best interest of the department."

The mayor also said the deputy commissioner would serve as acting commissioner until he finds a replacement.