News Briefing

PAC members view Morris records

A contingent of the city’s Police Advisory Commission visited the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office on April 30 to view additional records in the Nizah Morris homicide.

William M. Johnson, executive director of the PAC, confirmed the meeting took place, but declined to offer additional details, citing a non-disclosure agreement between the PAC and the DA’s Office.

Morris, 47, was a transgender woman found with a fatal head wound shortly after receiving a courtesy ride from Philadelphia police during the early-morning hours of Dec. 22, 2002.

She died two days later, from complications due to a fractured skull.

In August, PAC members subpoenaed the DA’s Office for all cell-phone records, interview memoranda and search warrants related to those records within the DA’s Morris file.

Instead of complying with the subpoena, the DA’s Office offered a visual review of additional Morris records, which the PAC accepted.

The DA’s Office first required PAC members to adhere to a non-disclosure agreement that limits their right to publicly disclose the contents of the records they viewed.

Johnson said PAC members will give an update on the case at their next public meeting, 7 p.m. May 13 at 34 S. 11th Street, sixth floor.

— Tim Cwiek

Group honors openly gay city leader

Dr. Donald Schwarz, the openly gay deputy mayor for health and opportunity and health commissioner, will be the guest of honor at The Center for Families and Relationships’ 15th Anniversary Benefit Gala, 6:30 p.m. May 9 at the Torresdale Frankford Country Club, Frankford and Grant avenues in the Northeast.

The organization, which provides counseling and support to low-income families, will present Schwarz with its fifth annual Daniel Gottlieb Humanitarian Award during the event.

The black-tie-optional gala will feature such raffle prizes as a one-week stay in Brigantine, N.J., valued at $2,000.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call (215) 272-7180 or (267) 334-7574.

— Jen Colletta