PHILADELPHIA — A white city police sergeant made up a story about being shot by a black man while on patrol last month and intentionally shot himself for unknown reasons, the city’s police commissioner said yesterday.
Sergeant Robert Ralston, 46, confessed to making up the story and will have to pay the costs of the massive manhunt that followed, Commissioner Charles Ramsey said. Ralston has been suspended with intent to dismiss, but will not face criminal charges because granting immunity was the only way to obtain his confession, Ramsey said at a news conference.
The case was especially troubling, Ramsey said, because Ralston identified his supposed attacker as black. When Ralston confessed yesterday, he said he made the claim so his story would be more believable, Ramsey said.
“He wanted the story to be consistent with the environment he was in,’’ a largely African-American neighborhood, Ramsey said. “I am troubled by this whole situation. . . . He violated the trust the people have given him.’’
The commissioner said investigators aren’t sure why Ralston intentionally shot himself.
“He did not give a reason for doing that,’’ Ramsey said.