Philadelphia, PA — Imagine for a moment, that your job is to prosecute those who dangerously drive drunk and cause harm to others. Now, imagine that you betrayed that job by dangerously driving drunk, crashing, and causing severe harm to others. Everyone would likely agree that such an egregious violation of one's job description would lead to your immediate termination from said job. However, if you are Philadelphia Police Department Officer Gregory Campbell, that was not the case.
For several weeks after causing grave harm and even death, Campbell kept his job. He would eventually be fired but only after he was charged with DUI, aggravated assault, and criminal mischief. Now, more than a year after the incident which left two dogs dead and their owners permanently and severely injured, Campbell's blue privilege has come full circle and he was given a measly 11-23 month sentence.
This short sentence was in spite of the fact that the victims testified Campbell's recklessness "destroyed" their lives.
“I’m very unhappy with the sentence,” Anna Wakeman said after the hearing. “I was normal before this,” Wakeman, 54, said through tears, according to the Philly Inquirer, telling Shaffer she’s had 11 surgeries and now takes 30 pills per day for medical issues, including a traumatic brain injury she suffered as a result of Campbell's actions that night.
“I saw it all, and that’s what destroyed me,” Raymond Wakeman said. “It ruined my life.”
In February of last year, Campbell — whose job consisted of pulling people over and arresting them for driving under the influence — was driving under the influence. During this drive, Campbell lost control of his vehicle while driving 75 mph, causing it to go airborne around 8:20 p.m.
Campbell's car would then come to a stop when it crashed into the home occupied by the Wakeman's, and their two dogs. Raymond was thrown against the wall breaking several bones as Anna was pinned under the car, unconscious, and severely injured.
A neighbor across the street heard the crash and came rushing out and began digging through the rubble to help the woman pinned under the car.
"I was in the kitchen and I heard what sounded like an explosion," said neighbor Martin Brown, who lives two doors down.
Brown said another bystander who witnessed the crash pulled over and made sure that Campbell couldn't flee the scene as he suffered only a minor cut to his head.
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"He was screaming that his wife was stuck underneath of the car and that he needed to move the car in order to get to her," said Brown.
The two men dug through the rubble to find Anna Wakeman.
"He (Raymond) dropped to his knees. He was petting her hair, telling her he was there and, 'It's going to be alright,'" Brown told WPVI.
Both of the couple's dogs were also killed in the crash.
Anna Wakeman was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and was in critical condition for weeks as she fought for her life, She faced a plethora of serious injuries, including: a broken leg, 13 fractured ribs, a fractured vertebrae, brain bleeding, punctured or collapsed lungs, a damaged or ruptured spleen, and injuries to her left ear requiring stitches to reattach.
Campbell was administered blood alcohol test while being treated for the cut on his head and he was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence, aggravated assault and related crimes.
Las year, the couple filed a lawsuit against Campbell and the Fraternal Order of Police bar — where he had left prior to crashing into their home.
“At no time, did … Campbell attempt to slow or otherwise stop at the stop sign,” the suit states, adding that Campbell’s blood alcohol content was at an “outrageous level.”
Adding insult to permanent disability is the fact that the judge who sentenced to Campbell, Common Pleas Court Judge Zachary Shaffer also stated that Campbell may not even have to go to jail as he is eligible for work release — and potentially house arrest in the future.
Cops getting blue privilege like this one is not that uncommon. As TFTP reported a cop in Baton Rouge, LA was driving nearly 100 mph, off duty, when he smashed into a car, killing a baby. That officer didn't even get a speeding ticket. He is still a cop too.