Eric Ruch Jr.

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Service Record

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Police Department

Rank Officer
Dates of Service 2008 - October 21, 2018.[1]
Salary $91,296 (2017)[2]
Last Known Status Terminated[3]

Incident Reports

2017 Shooting of Tyler Nichols

On February 15, 2017, Ruch and other officers attempted to stop Nichols as he left a "known drug house". Nichols was shot by several officers.[1]

Response Timeline

Ruch and two other officers were placed on administrative duty.[1]

2017 Death of Dennis Plowden Jr.

On December 27, 2017, Ruch attempted to stop Plowden as the vehicle he was driving matched the description of a vehicle from a recent homicide. Officers had been cautioned that occupants of the car should be considered armed and dangerous. Plowden fled, leading officers on a 2-minute, high-speed chase.[4][5]

Plowden struck a police car and hit an officer before briefly losing the pursuing officers. Plowden crashed, stumbled from the vehicle, and sat on the sidewalk. Officers arrived, and Plowden did not fully follow officers' commands. Ruch shot once, striking Plowden in the hand and head. Other officers did not fire.[4][1]

On December 28, 2017, Plowden died at the hospital.[3]

Response Timeline

On October 21, 2018, Ruch was suspended for 30 days, and the department announced plans to fire him. The department review determined that Ruch used unjustified lethal force and poor tactics by not using cover and concealment.[1]

On September 20, 2019, Plowden's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.[3][6]

On October 9, 2020, Ruch was charged with first degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and a weapons charge.[3][7]

In July 2021, the family's lawsuit was settled for $1.2 million.[5]

On Spetember 21, 2022, Ruch was convicted by a jury of voluntary manslaughter and misdemeanor possession of an instrument used in a crime - his service weapon. The jury cleared Ruch of third-degree murder, which would have required that the shooting was motivated by malice. Ruch faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.[8]

On November 17, 2022, Ruch was sentenced to 11.5 to 23 months in prison.[9]

On June 13, 2023, Ruch was released from prison.[10]

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