Philadelphia PA July 2 2020
A 40-year-old Philadelphia police officer was arrested and charged Thursday for his alleged role in a 2017 robbery and assault of people at a business in the city’s Feltonville section, District Attorney Larry Krasner announced.
Officer Luis Miranda and two alleged coconspirators, Gregorio Esquilin, 56, and his son, Juan Luis Esquilin, 32, conspired to rob people participating in gambling activity at a business on the 4200 block of Rising Sun Avenue, said Krasner, who did not elaborate.
Fifteen people were robbed and threatened, and some were assaulted, on Dec. 17, 2017, Krasner said.
Miranda faces 15 counts of robbery, 15 counts of conspiracy, and other related charges. Miranda also faces charges related to drug offenses and misusing Police Department resources for criminal purposes, Krasner said.
The officer was suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss, the Police Department said Thursday. He had been with the force for 12 years and was last assigned to the 18th District in West Philadelphia.
A spokesperson for Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 said the police union was not representing Miranda and had no further comment on the case.
The Esquilins, both of Philadelphia, also each face 15 counts of robbery, 15 counts of conspiracy, and other charges.
“Accountability must be evenhanded. Our careful and thorough investigation into this matter since it was referred by the Philadelphia police has resulted in a measure of accountability that is equal and evenhanded for those involved — both civilians and police,” Krasner said in a statement.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a separate statement that the department became aware of allegations against Miranda in December 2017. He was removed from street duty that same day and an Internal Affairs investigation was launched.
The findings of that investigation were then turned over to the District Attorney’s Office, Outlaw said.
“The charges against Officer Miranda are disturbing, and allege behavior that is in stark contrast to everything that society expects of its police officers. Still, we must not allow the actions of a few to tarnish the reputations of the overwhelming majority of PPD officers that discharge their duties with honor and integrity,” Outlaw said.
“It is more obvious than ever that police officers have to repair community trust in order to effectively do their jobs. For that to begin, we must prove that we are determined to identify and remove bad actors from within our ranks,” Outlaw added. “While it is disheartening when those charged with upholding the law choose to break it, I am grateful for all of those who worked to bring these allegations to light.”