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CRAWFORD v. DOMINIC

April 26, 1979

Alexander CRAWFORD
v.
Paul DOMINIC, William O'Neill, William Murphy, Joseph O'Neill, John Doe, Richard Roe, various unknown Individuals, and the City of Philadelphia



The opinion of the court was delivered by: POLLAK

I.

Plaintiff Alexander Crawford has sued Officer Paul Dominic, Officer William O'Neill, Captain William Murphy, Police Commissioner Joseph O'Neill (all of the Philadelphia police), several other individuals whose names and titles are unknown, and the City of Philadelphia. He alleges that Officer Dominic, with Officer O'Neill looking on, shot him (Crawford), giving rise to claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and under state law. He alleges that Captain Murphy and Commissioner O'Neill violated his rights by improperly supervising the officers involved in the shooting. The City is sued for the acts of its agents.

 Plaintiff moved to discover a large number of documents in the possession of defendants. Last spring, Judge Fogel granted all but two of the requests. The two are:

 
8. Any and all documents pertaining to Officer Paul Dominic regarding
 
(a) disciplinary proceeding(s)
 
(c) reports and investigations of previous gun firings.
 
9. Any and all documents pertaining to Officer William O'Neill regarding
 
(a) disciplinary proceeding(s)
 
(b) citizens complaint(s)
 
(c) reports and investigations of previous gun firings.

 Judge Fogel did not place on the record his reasons for not granting discovery of these items.

 Plaintiff now renews his motion for discovery of these documents, arguing that they may demonstrate that the officers had a propensity for violence and that defendant supervisors (Commissioner O'Neill and Captain Murphy) and the City knew or should have known of this propensity and did nothing to protect citizens from the danger the officers may have presented. Defendants argue that the documents are protected by executive privilege, and that plaintiff's renewed motion is barred by failure to comply with the ten-day ...


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