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 is not the case.
Saturday night, 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, 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 a 45-year-old man, a 53-year-old woman, and their two dogs. The man was thrown against the wall breaking several bones as the woman 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.
“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 the 53-year-old woman.
“He dropped to his knees. He was petting her hair, telling her he was there and, ‘It’s going to be alright,'” Brown told WPVI.
One of the couple’s dogs was also killed in the crash.
The woman was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and is currently in critical condition fighting for her life.
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.
“The consequences of choosing to drive while under the influence are enormous, and all too often, life-changing,” said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “A family should always feel safe in their home, and yet the actions of this individual shattered that reality. The fact that the offender, in this case, is a Philadelphia Police Officer is appalling. Police Officers must be held to a higher standard – even while off-duty – and I assure the victims and the public that a complete and thorough investigation will take place. My prayers remain with this family.”
As WHYY reports, it’s unclear what, if any, consequences Campbell could face on the job. The PPD did not immediately respond to questions about pending disciplinary actions against the officer or to questions about the circumstances that led to the crash. The Fraternal Order of Police declined to comment on those questions.
When asked if the officer would be fired, the police union chose not to answer, instead sending “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their family.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family and hope those injured will make a full recovery,” FOP President John McNesby said. “This is an unfortunate incident and we continue to monitor the investigation.”
Cops not being fired for incidents 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.