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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Peace Walk to Take Place in Bristol Saturday

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On Saturday, a “Unified Peace Walk” will take place in Bristol Borough beginning 10 a.m with community members, elected officials and local law enforcement to providing  assistance. 

Organizers of the walk held meetings with Bristol Borough and Township officials throughout the week saying the walk is meant to be a peaceful demonstration and nothing more, sources told Lower Bucks Source all this week. 

“It’s time for us to come together and create a change….violence will not be tolerated,” a post promoting the effort said on social media earlier this week in an effort to promote the event as a peaceful protest. 

Throughout the week reports of the scheduled walk circulated through the area leading to heated discussions across social media platforms and in and around the community.

Credit: Jeff Bohen, Lower Bucks Source

Peaceful protests were held in Levittown, Doylestown, and Lower Makefield this past week in Bucks County.

The events in Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey beginning on Sunday night after daytime rallies led to mandated curfews in those cities due to looting and civil unrest.  

Those reports led to an outpouring of unfounded reports throughout the Lower Bucks area leading two police departments- Falls and Bristol Borough-to release statements earlier this week about non-credible threats of violence. 

We are aware of the event and have been in contact with the organizers. We are taking steps with the assistance of other law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of the demonstrators and the community of Bristol Borough,  said Bristol Borough Police Chief Steve Henry Thursday.

Keevon Johnson, Board President for Freedom Neighborhood One, a Bristol Township based non-profit that serves residents of the area and is one of the three organizations listed on the promotional flyer for the walk said today, the walk is not out of anger. We want our white people to become our allies in understanding what is going on nationally.

“What happened in Minneapolis isn’t happening here,” he said, “and we want to work with our local law enforcement that it never does.” 

To educate people who say “I don’t see color” to seeing our blackness and the issues we often experience as a result of systemic racism is the point of the walk and to speak out against police brutality that is taken place nationally. 

Officials from the Borough and Township will be walking with us as allies and we’ve already calendared a meeting with local law enforcement as part of the effort, Johnson said.

Tw0 additional organizations, Philadelphia based  No More Pain, Inc and Bristol area You Are Not Alone (YANA), LLC are also sponsoring the walk that will begin at the Bristol Regional Rail Train Station parking lot. 

This event, as it is with hundreds across the country, is not a Bristol Borough sanctioned event.  With that knowledge, Borough officials have contacted and met repeatedly with the event organizers. The organizers of the event are adamant that this will be a peaceful event with no violence.  The Borough has taken numerous steps to ensure the safety of the community and peaceful demonstrators, said an additional release from the department Thursday. 

The murder and subsequent arrest of fired officer, Derek Chauvin, led to protests and demonstrations throughout the country prompting peaceful protests, demonstrations, rioting,  heated discussions about race, inequality, and changes to  policing.

Chavuin was charged with third degree murder and second degree manslaughter last week by prosecutors in Hennepin County.  On Wednesday, his charges were upgraded to second degree murder and three other fired Minneapolis Police officers were charged for the murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day. 

Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane were charged with aiding and abetting murder according to the criminal complaint filed this week by prosecutors. 

A video of the alarming incident showing Chauvin (a white officer) leaning on the neck of Floyd with his knee went viral earlier this week.

Chauvin held his knee against  Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, according to the criminal complaint  filed by prosecutors.

Johnson in response to the question as to whether members of the Black Lives Matter organization would be on hand said there is no connection in an official sense with the group but the rally is in accordance with the advocacy group’s stated mission.

We want to have an ongoing peaceful conversation and with officials taking part tomorrow we can begin to achieve that goal, said Johnson.

The march is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Prospect Street  proceeding  to Beaver Street, to Buckley Street, to Bath Street, to Pond Street, to Mill Street Parking Lot, and then concluding at the Harriet Tubman Statue in Bristol Lions Park. Residents should be prepared for traffic delays during this time. The Mill Street parking lot will be closed for vehicle traffic from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m, officials said. 

Editors Note: YANA, LLC was originally reported to be a non-profit in an earlier version of this story. That information was incorrect and the story has been corrected to reflect that error. We apologize for our error.  

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Two Women in Separate Incidents, Each with Probation Warrants Set off License Plate Reader Notifications Jailed

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Back to back arrests of two women with arrest warrants whose license plates set off notifications to police were jailed in separate incidents earlier this week.

According to police, on July 15  just before 7 pm., an officer on patrol on the  200 block S. Main street was notified of a hit via the automatic license plate reader  on a vehicle with a registration suspended for insurance cancellation. The officer then observed the same vehicle and conducted a traffic stop on the subject vehicle. Upon confirming that the operator of the vehicle had an active arrest warrant issued by Bucks County Adult Probation, the officer arrested the 42-year-old woman from Yardley on the warrant.  The woman was processed and remanded to Bucks County Prison. The vehicle was released to a family member.  Additional motor vehicle violations may be filed.

On July 16, at approximately 8:18 pm, Yardley Borough Police were on patrol  and received a notification of a hit via the automatic license plate reader on a vehicle with an expired/suspended registration. The officer observed the subject vehicle and utilizing a timing device noted that the subject vehicle was speeding.  The officer conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle on the 200 block of South Main Street. The driver of the vehicle was determined to be operating the vehicle without a valid license, registration, or insurance, said police.

Upon confirming that the operator of the vehicle had an active arrest warrant issued by Bucks County Adult Probation, the officer arrested a 23-year-old woman from King of Prussia on the warrant.  The woman was processed and remanded to Bucks County Prison. The vehicle was impounded.  Additional motor vehicle violations may be filed. The matter is pending court, police said. 

Both matters are pending court dates.

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

More than 80 Police Departments across Southeast Pennsylvania to Target Aggressive Drivers during Statewide Mobilization

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that more than 80 municipal police departments from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties will join the Pennsylvania State Police in a coordinated aggressive driving enforcement wave. This collective effort, part of a statewide mobilization running through August 18, is aimed at reducing the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our area roadways, ensuring your safety on the road.

The enforcement wave will target heavy truck violations, pedestrian safety, red light running, and tailgating. Motorists demonstrating unsafe behaviors, such as driving too fast for conditions or other aggressive actions, will also be cited.

Law enforcement will utilize strategies such as traffic enforcement zones, saturation patrols, speed enforcement details, corridor enforcement, work zone enforcement, and multi-jurisdictional patrol to identify and cite aggressive drivers.
The enforcement is part of Pennsylvania’s Highway Safety Program and is funded by part of PennDOT’s investment of federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
If you encounter an aggressive driver, PennDOT offers these tips:

  • Get out of their way and don’t challenge them.
  • Stay relaxed, avoid eye contact, and ignore rude gestures.
  • Don’t block the passing lane if you drive slower than most traffic.
  • Do not attempt to follow or pursue the vehicle. You or a passenger may call the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.
  • >

    According to 2023 PennDOT crash data, there were 1,363 aggressive driving crashes, resulting in 39 fatalities and 104 suspected serious injuries in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. Aggressive driving crashes involve at least two aggressive driving factors in the same crash. Factors include, but are not limited to, running stop signs or red lights, tailgating, careless turning or passing, and driving too fast for conditions.

    The goal of targeted enforcement is to reduce the number of aggressive driving-related crashes, injuries, and deaths on roadways throughout the state. Any aggressive driver stopped by police will receive a ticket.

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Cops, Courts & Fire - Yardley Borough

Local Lawmakers Want to Expand DNA Sampling in Criminal Cases

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Last week a group of Bucks County Republican lawmakers with local authorities held a press conference to discuss changes they said need to be put in place regarding the collection of DNA from potential criminals.

State Senator Frank Farry state Rep. K.C. Tomlinson, Rep. Joe Hogan, Rep. Kristin Marcell, Rep Labs, joined First Assistant District Attorney Ed Louka, Bucks County Sheriff Fred Harran, Chief of Lower Southampton Police Department Ted Krimmel, and local law enforcement officials at Comic Collection, in Feasterville to discuss the importance of DNA technology in Pennsylvania’s Criminal Justice System.

Specifically legislation the legislators  are working on would expand the number of DNA samples in the criminal justice system by requiring post-arrest testing of anyone charged with a felony or certain misdemeanors.  This sample-taking would be much like the established process of taking an arrestee’s fingerprints.  Nineteen states currently collect post-arrest DNA samples.

The press conference highlighted the impressive work by the Lower Southampton Police Department in an investigation of a violent robbery at Comic Collection in September 2022, where a DNA match led to the charging of two Michigan men 18 months after the crime.

It will also in mind the importance of conviction integrity served by advanced use of DNA identification. A sample can prove the innocence of someone else who has been incorrectly accused or convicted and imprisoned for a crime when the DNA ends up matching someone.

SB988, and its companion bill HB2030, would also expand the collection of DNA samples for those offenders convicted of criminal homicide, which under Pennsylvania law are their own classification of crime and technically not classified as felonies. This legislation would close that loophole and require collection of DNA samples from these offenders to solve other cold case murders and crimes.

 

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