Rich Ross made a goat

Police Commissioner Richard Ross “resigned” on Tuesday, according to an announcement from Mayor Jim Kenney’s office. Ross left voluntarily in the same way prisoners on a pirate ship walk the plank voluntarily.

Update: After publication of this, it was learned Ross was accused in a law suit of not acting acting to stop the sexual harassment of a female police officer, a former girl friend of Ross’.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross (Philadelphia Inquirer)

He leaves the department after supervising the successful takedown of a gunman who had wounded six Philly cops. Ross was widely praised for smarts and restraint after the ordeal and Kenney called him the best police commissioner in the nation. That was then.

A 30-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, the handsome, smooth, up-from-the-ranks African-American was a natural choice for Kenney, but that was not a two-way street. Ross suffered from an overdose of blue and a deficit of progressive thought.

It first became obvious in the Starbucks fiasco when two uniformed officers, following the request of the manager, removed two non-paying customers from the shop. They followed standard procedure and were blameless, Ross said.

Then our race-crazed mayor blew his top and the embarrassed commissioner had to eat his words. 

The mayor appointed the police commissioner, but Kenney has far more in common with District Attorney Larry Krasner, who ran for office on a platform of restorative justice, with a thick anti-cop veneer. As a defense attorney, Krasner had many run-ins with cops, some of whom — let’s face it — were dirty. 

Philly cops have a long history of bad, brutal, criminal and bigoted behavior. It hit its zenith under Commissioner Frank Rizzo many believe, but bad behavior has been baked in the cake under every commissioner, up to Ross. No commissioner has been fired by the mayor who hired him, in my memory. Ross is the first.

As an appointee, Ross had to dance to the tune Kenney played. You could practically see Ross grind his teeth when Krasner disparaged cops and prosecutors he neither liked nor respected.

When U.S. Attorney William McSwain attacked Krasner for creating disrespect for cops, I imagined Ross thinking, “Go get him, Bill!”

Of course I don’t know that to be a fact.

I also don’t know that Kenney was pissed that Ross did not organize a witch hunt to scourge his department of anyone in the 300 who might have posted anything questionable on social media.

I don’t know that, but I believe that. 

I had a casual friendship with Ross before he was made commissioner. I found him smart, down to earth, and realistic about cops, criminals and life on the street.

What he had yet to learn was politics and political correctness. He now has. 

Once things settle down, I hope Ross comes out with his version of events, and talks about trying to run a department with K&K — Kenney and Krasner — sticking their fingers in.

I won’t get my hopes up because Ross will undoubtedly be offered a big private sector job, or perhaps another commissioner’s cap.

Maybe Republican mayoral candidate Bill Ciancaglini will breathe some life into his campaign by promising to re-appoint Ross, who may remain silent. 

Sometimes it’s best to keep thoughts about previous bosses to yourself. I know of what I speak. 

26 thoughts on “Rich Ross made a goat”

  1. I have no idea why Police Commissioner Ross “resigned’, but the reasons put forth are most likely bullshit. The Kenny – Krasner administration rarely ever puts out the facts about anything. The thing I just read mentioned sexual harassment but seemed to imply that it was not by the Commissioner himself.

    The version put out by the Kenny – Krasner administration may well be an attempt to discredit Commissioner Ross. Kenny and Krasner were not happy with the news conference where the Commissioner seemed to make clear that Krasner did not end the barracaded standoff and that it was the tear gas that caused the suspect to surrender. I sensed that there was a good chance that the Commissioner would resign after watching the news coverage, but I am shocked by the reasoning put forth by the Kenny – Krasner administration.

    There is an old rule in the Philadelphia Police Department that says the closer you get to the top, the closer you get to the window that the politicians will one day throw you out of.

  2. I am from Jersey but a frequent visitor to the city of Philly.. I am not liking this one bit. They Mayor should have stepped down not the commisioner . The Corrupt Mayor.

  3. Stu I think Richard Ross is a G.O.A.T. not a goat. So I don’t care if Billy robs a Wawa, I’m voting for him. I urge Democrats who hate Trump and won’t vote for him to please, pleases, please vote against Kenney! It doesn’t make you a good Democrat to vote for this “man”! Billy Ciangalini won’t win, okay..let’s just make it a little closer. Democrats! I urge you to vote Billy for Philly! I don’t really know Billy too well but I have voted for Milton Street twice. That’s more times than I voted for John, which is zero..I actually voted for Jim because I knew him from the bar and he’s a likeable guy. It usually doesn’t matter. I had no idea this guy would be so terrible. The worst thing about Kenney is, he’s ambitious AF. He’s got dreams of national office. He must be stopped! I have friends of mine who’d freak if I openly pushed Billy’s campaign my social media, politics not good for business. This time I’ll urge vote liberal Democratic voters, disgusted with Kenney. Vote for the other guy! Male it closer! Billy for Philly!

  4. Hi Stu, Ralph Cipriano here, fellow ink-stained wretch. Glad you’re digging into the Ross “resignation,” and the politics of our progressive mayor and D.A. BTW, I wanted you to know that I just nominated you for the Inky’s lifetime achievement award for diversity and inclusion. My official nominating ballot said that since everybody at the Inquirer is a card-carrying Progressive Democrat and committed Social Justice Warrior, you have for years provided the refreshing alternative viewpoint of a crusty contrarian, Libertarian and what was formally known as a liberal Democrat. I hope there is a cash prize. See you at the gala!!!

  5. Stu – another well thought out written article. Although I am a “Jersey Boy” and have only a mild knowledge of the goings-on across the river, ANYTIME someone does an immediate resignation, you know there is always a good story (or should I say no-good story?) behind it. While a great city like Phila doesn’t deserve Kenny and Krasner types to run the city, they were duly elected. Or where they? Who really elects these folks? Why The Machine, of course! Maybe they really do deserve what they get. I know – that’s not nice to say…

  6. Philadelphia, a city so strange in its people and politics that it should require
    a passport before being allowed to enter.

    1. Mr Benedict: Your comment is painfully accurate, but can be applied to most cities as “old” as Philadelphia. A city of neighborhoods with the accompanying mentality of small-town.

  7. Good piece Stu!
    I feel for Ross. I feel for all cops.
    PC rules because it’s what progressivism thrives on, one step forward and two or more backward. I wish him the best!
    Tom W

  8. OK folks, putting it all together to come up with a plausible conspiracy theory.

    The Mayor went into way too much of a Kabuki Dance following the Commissioner’s resignation. “methinks he doth protest too much.”

    One has to wonder just what that so called news conference was about. Was it simply to announce that the Commissioner was leaving? Or was it a ham fisted effort to transfer the onus for the resignation of a popular police commissioner from the inept Kenny – Krasner administration to two female officers who had filed an EEOC lawsuit?

    Think past conflicets. The first incident was when Jesse Hartnett was shot up and Kenny contradicted Ross on national TV, then the Starbucks mess, again Kenny blamed the Police even though they did nothing wrong, and of course the academy cheating scandal and the latest thing about Face Book posting, now it seems that Kenny and or Krasner interjected themselves into a Police tactical situation which thank God none of our officers were killed, but Krasner and Kenny had no business at the scene and most certainty not involved in the hostage negotiations. Commissioner Ross had more than enough reason to resign following any one of the afore mentioned slights.

    The mission of the Philadelphia Police Department to protect life and property is far more important than any one person. Every authority on police administration from August Vollmer to O.W. Wilson and N.F. Ianonne has recognized this. These authorities have also recognized that a time may arise when a police chief must consider himself bigger than the job. This is particularly true in matters of political undermining and interference.

    The TV coverage of the scene that played out on August 14th was in reality a disgrace. It looked like hundreds of officers milling around with no particular direction. The first supervisor on the scene is supposed to set up “contain and manage”. That means getting police out of the line of fire and securing the barricaded position with as few officers as possible. ( Usually at opposing corners so the cops don’t shoot each other.) Then designating a staging area for a command post, stake out and detectives / negotiators, setting up a traffic perimeter, and restoring police service to the rest of the city. None of that happened. It looked like the white shirts were reluctant to take command and as each level of command showed up all preceding levels became spectators. If the first supervisor on the scene didn’t know what to do, he or she is to be forgiven because the commanders looked like they didn’t know where to start either.

    That is basically what the Commissioner was faced with. Now couple that with the totally unwarranted interference of the Kenny – Krasner administration. To me it is an amazement that only six officers were wounded and that no one was killed. Perfect example of “All ethics and all morals are subordinate to political expediency.” The actions of the Mayor and the District Attorney were at best ill advised. Once again they undermined the Police Commissioner. End of Story.

    After this fiasco, I think the Commissioner had had enough. He had plenty of reason to resign as soon as the scene was secured. The optics would have been terrible for the Kenny – Krasner administration. If he was going to resign, they needed another reason.

    Then suddenly two days later on August 16 an EEOC suit that was filed months ago suddenly gets amended to include an allegation against the police commissioner of an affair that was over seven years ago. How fortuitous!

    So now the possible appearance that the Commissioner resigned because the Mayor and District Attorney were cutting off his balls, is conveniently misdirected to the story is he is resigning “for the good of the department” because of the EEOC Lawsuit by two relatively low ranking police women. My guess is that the Commissioner went along with it.

    I understand that. I also understand that if you hope to have future employment as an executive anywhere, you do not, under any circumstances, speak ill of or embarrass your previous superiors. Doing so will kill your chances of future employment. Right or wrong, that is the way it is.

    Sorry for being so wordy, but that is my best guess.

  9. In the press breifing Mayor Kenny quoted Commisioner Ross lead in commentary as addressing the arsenal of weapons that the police faced on that terrible day. Commisioner Ross never addressed that issue during the presser. Not once. He strictly focussed on the bravery of the police officers involved. Seems he may have paid a price for his non-polictical delivery.

  10. Phila lost a great police commissioner Thank you for providing accurate details of what’s really going on in Phila, Stu Enjoy your blog posts

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