April 14, 2021
The Philadelphia police officer accused of stealing evidence from a crime scene was charged on Wednesday by the feds.
Sgt. Michael Kennedy, 49, of Philadelphia, allegedly pocketed cash that he found on a nightstand while executing a search warrant during a 2016 drug investigation in Kensington, prosecutors said.
The defendant was indicted Wednesday with obstruction of justice, conspiracy to make a false statement to authorities and six counts of making false statements to the FBI.
"As law enforcement officers, we must be held to the highest of ethical standards. The public's trust is critical for our justice system to function properly. That's why the FBI will do everything in its power to hold accountable an officer whose criminal actions undermine that trust," said Michael J. Driscoll, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia division.
If convicted on all the charges, Kennedy could face up to 55 years in prison.
"The charges against Officer Kennedy allege behavior that is in stark contrast to values police officers are supposed to embody. Our community expects everyone in law enforcement to follow the law, and justice demands it. Thank you to the FBI and the Philadelphia Police Department for their dedicated work on this investigation," Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said.
Kennedy's current status on the force is unknown, but an internal investigation into his on-duty behavior landed him on District Attorney Larry Krasner's super not-so-secret list of cops not to call to the witness stand.
According to the Inquirer, the men arrested by Kennedy in the 2016 bust have each filed civil rights lawsuits against him and his team on the Narcotics Unit that are currently pending. Criminal charges against the men were dismissed in 2017, and in the civil proceedings Kennedy has denied allegations that he stole the money.