THE BEATDOWN: Cops Find Gun

police_brutality.jpgINQUIRER: Hidden beneath a blanket of high weeds, detectives found the gun used in a triple shooting that led to a videotaped police beating on May 5, authorities said yesterday. The gun – a Glock 9 mm – was found last week in an overgrown, wooded area along North 2nd Street, not far from where cops stopped three shooting suspects in a gold Grand Marquis and delivered a barrage of kicks and punches in an incident that sullied the city’s reputation.

Ballistic tests matched the gun to fired shell casings found at 4th and Annsbury streets, North Philadelphia, where police alleged that Pete Hopkins, 19, shot and wounded three men as they stood on the corner, said police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore.Hopkins’ attorney, D. Scott Perrine, said the discovery of the gun – 25 days after the shooting – is “highly suspicious,” particularly given that police have provided different accounts of the shooting. “In a case like this, they couldn’t have more of a motive to manufacture evidence,” he said.

Yesterday, meanwhile, Perrine got into a shouting match with Assistant District Attorney Christopher Diviny during a morning court proceeding. At issue, Diviny said, is ensuring that Hopkins is aware that Perrine has criminal charges pending against him for alleged cocaine possession last year. Diviny said he wanted the opportunity to read Hopkins a written statement designed to inform defendants that their attorney is also a defendant facing prosecution. Perrine, who said he has discussed the charges against him with Hopkins, called the legal move “slander” and “harassment.” MORE

RELATED: A judge has lifted an injunction on three of five gun laws passed by Philadelphia. Judge Janebullet.gif Greenspan says her injunction against two of the recently passed local gun control laws will become permanent. The judge ruled Tuesday in response to a National Rifle Association lawsuit. Philadelphia City Solicitor Shelley Smith says she expects the legal battle will go to the state Supreme Court. Greenspan says the city may enforce three of the laws. Those make it a crime not to report a lost or stolen gun within 48 hours, allow police to confiscate guns from people considered a danger, and bar gun possession by people subject to protection-from-abuse orders. The city is still barred from enforcing a one-a-month limit on handgun purchases, and a ban on semiautomatic weapons with clips holding 10 or more rounds. MORE

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