Prior to his arrest, Pickard was a drug dealer. In 2010, Pickard took aim and fired several shots at a rival drug dealer on a crowded street in southwest Philadelphia.
One bullet hit Deshaown Brown, age 2 at the time. Another bullet hit his older brother, Joseph Brown, age 8. The two boys were playing in their front yard.
Philadelphia PD detectives went to extreme efforts to put together the criminal case against Pickard. They had to do so with little to no cooperation from area residents or witnesses, who are intimidated by (or advocates of) the "Stop Snitching" culture that dominates much of urban America.
The end result?
Kevin Pickard was given a 5 to 10 year sentence. Considering predominant trends in the Pennsylvania justice system, it is very likely that Pickard will only face a 5 year sentence. Pickard will also be given credit for the time he spent behind bars awaiting trial. Thus, Pickard will likely be released in 3 years.
Why did this happen? Philadelphia residents can thank Common Pleas court Judge Lisette Shirdan-Harris.
Judge Lisette Shirdan-Harris
Who is Judge Lisette Shirdan-Harris? She has been a Court of Common Pleas Judge since 2006. She has been given awards and citations by the National Organization of Women, the Tuskegee Alumni Club, is the past President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and is currently on the board of the Forum of Executive Women. Prior to her career in law, she was a "cultural diversity instructor" at United Airlines.
She was brought into office thanks to campaign funding from the Laborers District Council Local 322 in Philadelphia, as well as several other Building Trades Unions in the city.
What would her numbers have looked like without the backing of LDC Local 332?Why did these unions throw their money and political support behind Shirdan-Harris? Quite simply, payback. Shirdan-Harris provided legal protections for union members.
“She would have lost absolutely,” said Staten Sr. the union’s president. “She would have had no chance of winning. She wasn’t known and she was new to the field.”
So how did Shirdan-Harris justify her lenient sentence? Apparently, Pickard was in the process of "turning his life around".
She then joined the Laborers’ District Council Prepaid Legal Fund in 1999, where she oversaw the disbursement of a $3.5 million benefit fund to providers of legal services representing 6,000 construction union members. She remained in this role until joining the Court of Common Pleas in 2006.
In brief remarks before sentencing, Shirdan-Harris said she had taken note of letters in support of Pickard. One from a recreation center leader said Pickard had plans to start a basketball league.Yes, Pickard shot two defenseless children, one of whom was a toddler. Yes, he was a drug dealer who intimidated and terrorized residents in his area. These facts are not in question, as Pickard pleaded guilty during court proceedings. However, he claims to have had plans to start a basketball league at a local park, a contribution to society which clearly trumps all else in the eyes of the Philadelphia (in)justice system.
So why aren't there masses of Philadelphia residents protesting this decision? Why aren't civil rights organizations filing litigation to overturn this travesty?
Why? Because this is the norm in Philadelphia.
The social infrastructure in Philadelphia is failing (as is the physical infrastructure, but that's another, albeit related, story). Key to that is the total breakdown in the judicial system. Policing measures become useless and pointless if there does not exist a judicial system to mete out punishment to criminals, and that is what has happened in the city of Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Inquirer published a startling exposé of the judicial system in Philadelphia, one in which the system spends untold taxpayer resources to coddle and protect criminals while utterly ignoring the needs of victims and witnesses ... Justice: Delayed, Dismissed, Denied.
Go read it now if you want a taste of what awaits many other cities in America that are being driven into the ground by corruption and liberal policies that advocate leniency for criminals and that dismiss advocacy of "law and order" as the product of racism or paranoia.