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Former Philadelphia Officer Charged With Murder in 2017 Shooting

“Our attorneys will review the allegations and appropriately defend this officer,” he said. “Officer Ruch Jr. is entitled to due process, and we believe the judicial system will protect his rights to a fair trial.”

The Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

The charges against Mr. Ruch came at a time when police brutality and killings by the police have received increased scrutiny following the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky. Mr. Krasner said he was aware of some distrust in his community between the public and law enforcement.

“We are trying to be fair,” Mr. Krasner said. “And trying to be fair means you are trying to be fair to marginalized people, you’re trying to be fair to powerful people, you’re trying to be fair to people that hold a position of public trust, and you’re trying to be fair to people who hold absolutely nothing in their hands.”

When asked by a reporter why it had taken nearly three years since the shooting for charges to be filed, Vincent Corrigan, an assistant district attorney, disputed that timeline. He said that the actual length of the investigation was about 12 months after accounting for logistical issues stemming from the grand jury procedure, as well as the coronavirus.

The chase on Dec. 27, 2017, began after Mr. Ruch made a radio call from an unmarked police car, asking to check the registration on a white Hyundai that Mr. Plowden was driving, according to prosecutors. After the police learned that the registration was valid, they said, Mr. Plowden, who pulled over briefly and then drove away, struck the open door of an unmarked police car.

That prompted the police to follow him “at high speed until he struck three parked cars, spun around, and finally stopped after striking a pole,” according to the district attorney’s office.

After the crash, Mr. Plowden got out of the car looking disoriented. Mr. Plowden’s left hand was raised over his face as Mr. Ruch fired his gun at Mr. Plowden, prosecutors said. The bullet passed through his hand and struck his head. No other officers present fired their weapons.

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