The Riot

by longformphilly

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Jeff Gammage | Philadelphia Inquirer | August 2014

It started over nothing – a police call about a maroon Buick blocking an intersection in North Philadelphia.

Frustrated drivers leaned on their horns as traffic backed up around 22d Street and Columbia Avenue.

When motorcycle officer Robert Wells arrived, he found Rush Bradford standing in the street, arguing through the driver’s side window with his wife, Odessa Bradford.

She pressed one foot on the gas and the other on the brake, making the engine roar.

“Lady,” the cop told her, “let the man park this car on the side.”

She responded, “He ain’t going to move a damn thing.”

Wells told her to get out. She refused. He pulled her from the car. She punched and kicked him. He handcuffed her.

A crowd gathered.

Writer bio: Jeff Gammage, who was born in Trenton and raised in Willingboro, is a staff writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2008 he wrote “China Ghosts,” which details he and his wife’s struggles with adopting a daughter. 

Continue reading “The riot that forever changed a neighborhood.”