Responding to a complaint from his son, who had just been involved in a fender bender, a Philadelphia police officer walked into  convenience store with his gun drawn and grabbed a young woman from behind, pressing the gun into her face.

The stunned woman spun around and broke free. The cop ordered her and her three male friends to lie down on the floor. Words were exchanged.

“You think you can hit my son and get away with it,” the officer, Alberto Lopez Sr., said.

“You think you can fuck with me?”

But it was actually Lopez’s son who hit them from behind. A punk named Alberto Lopez Jr. who left the scene of the accident to go call daddy. A bully who grabbed the woman by the neck and pushed her over the counter as she tried to leave the store to go find, what she calls, “a real cop.”

The woman, Agnes Lawless, was arrested for assaulting a police officer.

The charges were dropped once the surveillance video emerged.

But that still doesn’t make up for the fact that she spent the night in jail that night in August 2008 where she counted 23 mice and dealt with feces smeared on the walls.

Internal affairs investigated and determined that Lopez Sr. committed “departmental violations” but allowed him to return to work after a few days of desk duty.

The District Attorney’s Office investigated and declined to prosecute Lopez Sr.

Obviously, nobody in authority has a problem with a cop who retaliates on behalf of his son yet only refers to him as “the witness” in his arrest report.

A cop who after making the arrest, told the store clerk to “do himself a favor and get rid of the camera tapes.”

A cop who is caught on video sneaking up behind an unarmed woman and jamming a gun into her neck. And then falsifying a report about the incident.

A cop who testified at the preliminary hearing that he simply walked into the store and ordered them to the floor, but Lawless “freaked out, started punching, slapping and kicking me multiple times.”

The Philadelphia Police Department has proven to be one of the most corrupt police departments in the country.

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, which wrote an excellent article on this incident and has done an excellent job reporting on all the other police abuses within that department, more officers tried to intimidate the store clerk into deleting the video the following day:

Ruiz told investigators that Lopez mentioned erasing the tape again after other officers arrived. He said that police visited him at the store twice the next day and asked him whether he would erase the tape. He also said that they had advised him to “help the cop out and testify for the cop.”

Fortunately, the store clerk did the right thing and provided the video to internal affairs as well as to one of Lawless’ friends.

Below are a sequence of images from the video cameras from the moment the cop walks in to the moment the cop’s son grabs Lawless by the neck and pushes her over the counter with his dad helping.




I am a multimedia journalist who has been fighting a lengthy legal battle after having photographed Miami police against their wishes in Feb. 2007. Please help the fight by donating to my Legal Defense Fund in the top left sidebar, which helps pay for the thousands of dollars I’ve acrued in debt since my arrest. To keep updated on the latest articles, join my networks at Facebook, Twitter and Friendfeed.