PHILADELPHIA – Attorney General Josh Shapiro today issued a statement following the conclusion of his Office’s investigation into the August shooting death of Jeffrey Dennis during a Philadelphia police operation in the city’s Tacony neighborhood. The Office of Attorney General received the case from the Philadelphia District Attorney following a conflict referral.
“On August 20, undercover Philadelphia police officers were preparing to execute a search warrant at Mr. Dennis’ home for suspected narcotics violations,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “Officers identified Mr. Dennis driving a car nearby, and took action to stop his vehicle. During the altercation, three police officers were injured and another officer, Richard Nicoletti, discharged his firearm at Dennis, fatally injuring him.”
“My Office conducted a thorough four-month review of this case, interviewing witnesses, examining video footage, and analyzing all available evidence. We applied the facts to Pennsylvania law, and accordingly, no criminal charges against Richard Nicoletti will be filed by my Office.”
“Violations of police procedure do not always rise to the level of criminal charges. Whether Philadelphia Police Department procedure was followed during this incident was not in the scope of our investigation, and will be addressed by Commissioner Ross and the Department.”
“My senior team and I met with the Dennis family multiple times during our investigation, including earlier today to inform them of this decision. Mr. Dennis’ death leaves a family in mourning and children missing their father, and I am deeply saddened by that loss.”
“I know the outcome of this case is frustrating to some, and I understand the very real mistrust that exists between our communities and law enforcement. I swore an oath to assess the findings of every investigation and apply them to the law, which is what the Office of Attorney General has done in this case and does in every case.”
“We must do better – as law enforcement, as leaders, as people – to rebuild that trust. Pennsylvanians’ safety depends on it, and I am committed to making our Commonwealth safer for every citizen.”