Washington [US], October 11 (ANI): A former Philadelphia police officer was on Friday charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of an unarmed Black man in 2017.
The former officer Eric Ruth Jr was indicted by a Grand Jury on first and third-degree counts of murder, along with voluntary manslaughter and possession of an instrument of crime, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said, reported CNN.
The victim, Dennis Plowden, had succumbed to a gunshot wound to the head after a high-speed chase with the police in 2017.
Krasner mentioned in a press conference that Ruth has been accused of shooting Plowden, after the latter crashed his car following the chase.
"According to evidence presented to the grand jury, Plowden 'looked dazed and lost on the sidewalk,' having just stumbled from his car following a high-speed crash, and appeared to be trying to obey commands given by police officers at the scene," CNN quoted Krasner.
However, a police union has stepped up to represent Ruth in the upcoming legal tussle.
"We will represent former police officer Eric Ruch Jr. against these serious charges," it said. "Our attorneys will review the allegations and appropriately defend this officer. Officer Ruch Jr. is entitled to due process and we believe the judicial system will protect his rights to a fair trial," said John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No 5.
Last year, Plowden's widow, Tania Bond, had filed a civil right lawsuit against Ruth, 3 other officers, and the city in US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for unspecified damages.
She had alleged that the police department had not properly trained officers on the use of deadly force. (ANI)