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In the second week of the civil suit filed against the city by the parents of murdered Wharton graduate student Shannon Schieber, two Philadelphia police officers took the stand to explain their actions on the night of the murder.

Officers Steven Woods and Raymond Scherff told the jury that they did not have legal justification to forcibly enter Schieber's apartment after they received no answer when knocking on her door.

Schieber, 23 years old at the time of her murder in 1998, was brutally raped and strangled to death by Troy Graves, known as the "Center City rapist."

Graves was later caught and convicted of the murder and several other crimes and is currently serving a life sentence in prison.

The civil suit, however, alleges that police and city officials engaged in a systematic misclassification of rape investigations, which they instead termed "investigation of persons." The suit alleges that the downscaling constitutes discrimination against women and is a violation of equal protection afforded by the law.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the officers testified that the uncertainty of the neighbor who called 911 influenced their decision not to enter the apartment forcibly.

Parmatma Greeley, Schieber's neighbor, testified on Friday that he called 911 after hearing sounds of a struggle coming from Schieber's apartment.

According to the Inquirer, the officers said that Greeley never mentioned a "choking" noise and that he disagreed with his girlfriend about whether or not the noises came from the apartment or outside on the street.

The officers proceeded to knock on the door, and after receiving no response, left the scene.

During that time, Schieber was already either unconscious or dead, according to previous expert trial witnesses.

The plaintiffs are arguing that downscaling of charges led officers Woods and Scherff to treat the Schieber case differently than they would have, had they been more aware of rapes in the area.

The two officers were originally named in the same lawsuit, but those charges were dismissed nearly one year ago before reaching a jury.

None of the attorneys representing parties in the case could be reached for comment.

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