July 03, 2020
The Philadelphia Police Department has moved to fire an officer who is facing criminal charges for allegedly robbing and assaulting a group of 15 people nearly three years ago.
Officer Luis Miranda and two others, Gregorio Esquilin and his son Juan Luis Esquilin, allegedly conspired to rob a group that had gathered to gamble outside a business on the 4200 block of Rising Sun Avenue in the city's Feltonville neighborhood. The alleged incident occurred on Dec. 17 2017.
Miranda, 40, was charged Thursday with robbery, conspiracy, aggravated assault and terroristic threats, according to the District Attorney's Office. He also faces charges for allegedly using police resources for criminal purposes and two drug offenses unrelated to the alleged robbery and assault.
The police department has suspended Miranda for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.
"The charges against Officer Miranda are disturbing and allege behavior that is in stark contrast to everything that society expects of its police officers," Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement. "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.
"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."
Miranda was removed from street duty while the Internal Affairs Division conducted an investigation, which was referred to the DAO's Special Investigations Unit, police said.
"Crimes by police are more likely to occur where there is a vacuum of accountability," District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement. "Police officers hold a position of trust and the criminal legal system has always considered abuse of a position of trust as an extremely serious offense."
Gregorio Esquilin, 56, and Juan Luis Esquilin, 32, each face charges of robbery, conspiracy, aggravated assault, terroristic threats and others.