Sharon Hill Borough Council publishes heavily redacted report on fatal police shooting of 8-year-old Fanta Bility


SHARON HILL, Dad. (TBEN) – Sharon Hill Borough Council released its independent report Friday on the fatal shooting by police of 8-year-old Fanta Bility. The report is over 50 pages long and heavily edited.

The Borough Council has appointed Kelley Hodge, a former Philadelphia District Attorney, to lead the investigation into the policies and procedures of the Sharon Hill Police Department.

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The report took nine months to complete and found several discrepancies and shortcomings.

Fanta was shot dead outside an Academy Park High School football game last August.

Police say three officers fired 25 shots in response to what they believed to be gunfire from a car.

The bullets hit four people, including 8-year-old Fanta.

The officers, Brian Devaney, Sean Dolan and Devon Smith, were charged with manslaughter and later fired.

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The report compared Sharon Hill’s policies on the use of force with other local chapters, and researchers found discrepancies and shortcomings.

When Eyewitness News asked why the report was redacted, the city attorney said a lawsuit is pending and attorney-client privilege prevents disclosure.

Fanta’s family, through their attorney, Bruce Castor, released a statement saying the report “raises more questions in the minds of the family and the public than it answers.”

The undated and redacted report made public today by Sharon Hill Borough is an affront to the memory of Fanta and completely unacceptable in any society that values ​​truth and the rule of law. The heavily edited report raises more questions for the family and the public than it answers.

Fanta’s legal counsel and family members will have more to say about the report after taking several days to study it. That Sharon Hill Borough officials chose to hide from the public those parts that are harmful to herself and the conduct of her officers in training and supervising her police department speaks loudly to Sharon Hill’s knowledge of her own guilt. associated with
Fantasy death. The Sharon Hill government exists to protect and serve the public, but its officials believe it exists to protect and serve them. The editing after weeks (or months) of the report is a shameful and outrageous demonstration that Sharon Hill Borough officials are not interested in providing the truth to the public as a starting point for healing the community. Sharon Hill’s only interest is procrastination. What’s behind those black bars in the report? What could be more than a professional assessment of the incompetence of the training, policies, procedures and supervision given to the Sharon Hill Police Department in the use of deadly force?

The world will eventually learn how Sharon Hill Borough officials failed to ensure police were trained under realistic scenarios and fully understood when deadly force is allowed under the law and when not. That, and much more, is what Sharon Hill Borough officials are now hiding from Fanta’s family and the community at large. It is time for the church to make its voice heard. It’s time to demand the truth about the police killing Fanta.

The officers’ lawyers filed a motion this week to drop the manslaughter charges.

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The next hearing is scheduled for September 16.

Eyewitness News contacted the mayor and police chief of Sharon Hill and is awaiting a response.

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Kerri Corrado of CBS3 contributed to this report.