Police officer suspended for repeatedly encouraging fights between teens
A seven-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department surrendered to Internal Affairs today on multiple allegations of initiating fights between teenagers including her children and allegedly herself striking a teenage girl in the face.Tamika Gross, 35, an officer with the 16th District in West Philadelphia, was ordered suspended from the department for 30 days with intent to dismiss by Commissioner Charles Ramsey, police said today.
The office of District Attorney Seth Williams announced that Gross is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of minors, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person.
Prosecutors say that on multiple occasions between January 2012 and October 2013, Gross “accompanied, encouraged, and participated in altercations between her children and other minors.”
On January 25, 2012, Gross allegedly walked with her 18-year-old son to the 900 block of Marcella Street, then demanded that her son and a 16-year-old boy living on the block fight, prosecutors said.
A large brawl then erupted between several groups of young men and numerous calls to police were made, including one that reportedly said an “officer needed assistance,” referring to Gross.
On March 16, 2012, two sisters, aged 13 and 17, were walking near Loretto Avenue and Sanger Street in Oxford Circle when Gross pulled up alongside them in a car and and Gross’ daughter jumped out and attacked the girls, punching them both in the face.
Gross allegedly encouraged her daughter during the fight.
“According to the victims, Gross kept screaming during the fight that she was an off duty police officer and that no one would get arrested,” the statement from the D.A.’s office announcing charges said.
Lastly, on October 23, 2013, Gross and her daughter, reportedly 16 at the time, approached a 14-year-old girl near Lincoln High School, with whom Gross’ daughter had previously been in a dispute reportedly over a boy.
Gross encouraged the girls to fight and was filmed in cellphone video in a crowd of onlookers watching the girls fight.
The 14-year-old victim reported that she was punched twice in the eye by Gross during the fight, prosecutors said.
Tamika Gross turned herself in to Internal Affairs this morning, and she is currently being processed by police.