Stack Calls for Hearing on Officer Walker Shooting
Harrisburg – August 30, 2012 – A series of apparent failures in the probation and parole system, which contributed to the death of a Philadelphia police officer, has prompted state Sen. Mike Stack to call for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing into the events preceding the murder of Officer Moses Walker.
Stack (D-Philadelphia) sent a letter to the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee officially requesting the hearing.
“The system designed to protect the men and women who protect us failed,” Stack said. “This is unacceptable. Officer Walker’s family and colleagues deserve a prompt and full examination of what happened and reasonable assurance that it won’t happen again.”
“We need action now so that other police officers on duty and in the line of fire are not put into jeopardy as a result of systemic failures.”
Rafael Jones, a career criminal with a violent history was paroled a year ago after spending four years in prison on a gun charge. Months later, he was back in jail charged with armed robbery. Two witnesses, however, failed to show up to testify in the case and, two weeks before Walker was killed, a judge released Jones with the condition that he wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.
Because the house he was supposed to live in did not have a phone line, Jones was not given a monitoring bracelet and tested positive for marijuana a week after the judge has ordered zero tolerance for positive drug tests.
In the letter, Stack said that a public hearing will determine “what went wrong; where it went wrong and who is responsible.”
“We should ask the Board of Probation and Parole as well as other respected experts to weigh in as to why this happened and how we can prevent these breakdowns in the future,” Stack said.
Stack’s letter said that Pennsylvania “cannot, and should not allow criminals such as Rafael Jones to roam the streets, harm our brave law enforcement officers and attack our constituents.”
The system failed and a police officer lost his life, Stack said, and that “should never happen. Action needs to be taken now so that repairs can be made and future tragedies prevented.”