News Briefing

PAC Morris subpoena decision expected

The city’s Police Advisory Commission plans to reach a decision next month about court-enforcement of its subpoena of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office for records related to the Nizah Morris case.

Morris, 47, was a transgender woman who was found with a fatal head wound shortly after receiving a courtesy ride from Philadelphia police.

She died two days later, on Dec. 24, 2002.

The PAC has been investigating the case since 2003 to determine if police misconduct took place. But to date, the PAC hasn’t received all of the reports, interview notes, memoranda, cell-phone records and search warrants related to the Morris homicide.

In August, the PAC subpoenaed the DA’s office for those records, but the DA declined to cooperate, citing privacy concerns and executive privileges.

Police say they cannot supply any of the documents because the entire Morris homicide file has disappeared.

At the PAC’s Jan. 21 meeting, chairperson Robert Nix said a decision about enforcing the subpoena in Common Pleas Court is expected by February’s meeting.

The DA’s office has offered to allow PAC members to review some additional Morris records if a non-disclosure agreement is signed, but details of the proposed agreement haven’t been finalized.

Cathie Abookire, a spokesperson for the DA’s office, has declined to specify the records contained in the DA’s Morris file, nor the conditions that would be placed on PAC members to review those records.

The next meeting of the PAC is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at 34 S. 11th St., sixth floor.

— Tim Cwiek

DVLF gets sweet

LGBT grantmaking organization the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund will host a Valentine’s-themed fundraiser from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Ritz-Carlton, 10 Avenue of the Arts.

“Gold & Chocolate” will celebrate the recent $100,000-endowment bestowed upon the organization, and proceeds will benefit DVLF and the Elevator Fund at the William Way LGBT Community Center.

Tickets to the event are $20 and attendees are also asked to donate a piece of jewelry. The individual who contributes the largest amount of jewelry will receive a complimentary overnight stay at the Ritz-Carlton.

Tickets can be purchased at or at the door. For more information, call (215) 563-6417 ext. 117.

—Jen Colletta

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