Racism (unfortunately) still thrives in central Pennsylvania – racist police chief in Harrisburg, 50% black and 70% minority, commonly used “N” word

To follow up on the theme of race discrimination, we reintroduce you to the summary of the Julian Adams v. Harrisburg City Police case, originally posted on July 16, 2011. While our studies will make some suggestions for how the race debate may need to change or be adjusted to reflect cultural development in the time since the passage of the civil rights legislation of the 60s, by no means, as is suggested by some commentators, has the existence of discrimination on the basis of race been eliminated, and we will continue to bring you case examples as evidence that much still needs to be done.

The Julian Adams case involved a Harrisburg City Police officer who was effectively terminated based upon a completely manufactured charge that Adams lied under oath. He was later actually terminated when he filed a federal lawsuit.  The Chief of Police of Harrisburg, Charles Kellar, was very close to then-Mayor Steven Reed and is widely-known to be racially insensitive at least – there was evidence that he used the “N” word frequently, for example.  The facts of the case are more specifically set forth in the Brief in Opposition to Summary Judgment filed by his attorney, Don Bailey.

The story of the case relates in part to the judicial abuse to which Julian was subjected to as outlined in the Motion to Compel and Request for Sanctions filed by his then-attorney Andy Ostrowski. The Mayor was involved at the time Adams was a police officer, before his specific issues even arose, with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in an ongoing inquiry into alleged racial problems in the police department under Kellar, all of which was revealed during discovery in the case – numerous police officers and others reporting the overtly racist practices of Kellar.

Judge Jones would not, however, perhaps in the spirit of cronyism, permit even the deposition of Reed, and the Motion to Compel that was filed by Adams alleged an extensive and ongoing pattern of obstructionist and uncooperative behavior on the part of their attorney, Robyn McGrath, of Sweeney and Sheehan, who, as is typical in Bailey cases, likely took her leads from Jones’ clear bias and prejudice against Bailey, Ostrowski, and all of their clients, as generally discussed in our struggle behind the civil rights struggle article.  Adams’ case was permitted to proceed to trial, but the developing circumstances as reflected throughout this site caused him to settle his case for minimal value without going to trial.

Essentially, despite the Motion filed by Ostrowski, the issues were turned around by Judge Jones, and used to effectively deny Adams full and fair access to courts.  Julian is one of the Bailey class of clients who has filed a motion to open judgment, raising the judicial misconduct issues discussed here as a basis for allowing his case to be reopened and sent back for trial.  The Declaration of Julian Adams in support of his Motion to Open outlines his basis for requesting that relief.

As is clear, racism is not dead, and is unfortunately all-too-alive  in central Pennsylvania.  There are many facets of the “race debate” that will be studied here, and, again, ways to look at these things in more enlightened and progressive ways will be explored, but, whatever your view, Julian was a life-long resident of the City of Harrisburg who served the City with honor and integrity, and now he and his family have suffered for years from a throwback chief straight out of the Bull Connor tradition.  Justice has not been done in Julian’s case, and we will continue to follow his efforts to get it.

Thank you.