By Natalia Ruvalcaba
PHILADELPHIA, PA – In 2020, Officer Darren Kardos allegedly took part in the assault of a woman, accompanied by her child and young nephew at the protests for Walter Wallace, Jr, according to authorities here.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner last week said Kardos, a former Philadelphia police officer, has now been arrested for his participation in the assault.
The DA said the victim drove her then two-year-old child toward 57th and Vine Streets to pick up her nephew. It was past midnight on Oct. 27, 2020, when suddenly, while eastbound on Chestnut Street, the victim and her two passengers were told to make a U-turn by one of the police officers who was at the ongoing protest against the killing of Wallace.
The Philadelphia DA’s Office (DAO) reports that, while the victim was acting in accordance with the demands of the police officer, she was met with physical violence as she tried to turn back.
Multiple police officers ran toward the victim’s car and tried to force themselves into the vehicle. Driving under 15 mph, the victim’s car was repeatedly hit by a baton by former police officer Kardos, said the DA Office.
According to an investigation by the Philadelphia PD (PPD) Internal Affairs and DAO Special Investigations Unit, the victim, too, was pulled out of her car by her hair, struck by multiple objects, and maced by Kardos.
Following her assault, the victim was arrested and her child was taken from her custody, as reported by Philadelphia DAO.
The DAO said the National Fraternal Order of Police created a deceptive post on social media using a photographed image of the victim’s child, though the post was ultimately taken down and the victim was released from police custody.
Philadelphia DAO reports that Kardos later made an official statement that was not able to be verified by video evidence, and since then he has been charged with several crimes—criminal mischief, reckless endangerment of another person, possession of an instrument of crime, simple assault, and aggravated assault.
DA Krasner said, “I want to thank PPD Internal Affairs and my office’s Special Investigations Unit for their thorough investigation of this assault, which marks an important moment in our city’s ongoing efforts to center justice in our service to the public.”
Krasner added, “This was a complex investigation that involved video and other evidence obtained from body worn camera from multiple officers as well as cell phone video recorded by civilians. As my office moves forward with a vigorous prosecution of former Philadelphia Police officer Darren Kardos, we and our partners in law enforcement and city government must never stop working to achieve the systemic justice that will deliver peace to communities that have been starved of it for generations.”