As much as we need to respect our law enforcement, we can not let them be placed higher than the law too.
HUMMELSTOWN, Pa. – A Hummelstown police officer has been charged with criminal homicide in the fatal shooting of a South Hanover Township man last month.
Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said following a state police investigation, he concluded 36-year-old Lisa Mearkle was not justified in using deadly force when she shot 59-year-old David Kassick.
“When police officers break the law, we will charge them accordingly,” Marsico said at a news conference Tuesday.
Mearkle on Feb. 2 had attempted to stop Kassick for an expired inspection sticker, but Kassick drove to his sister’s home in the 100 block of Grandview Avenue and fled on foot. Mearkle chased him behind the house and used her stun gun, striking Kassick in the back with the probes, Marsico said.
Kassick fell to the snow-covered ground and was lying face down when Mearkle ordered him to show his hands. She continued to use the stun gun while Kassick was on the ground, then shot him twice in the back.
The district attorney said Kassick did not have a gun and never brandished anything that could have been viewed as a potential weapon. He said the only item recovered near Kassick was a syringe.
According to the criminal complaint filed by state police, Kassick was not physically aggressive, had no contact with Mearkle, and was not facing her when she fired the first shot. Mearkle again ordered Kassick to show his hands and was still using the stun gun when she fired the second shot, again while Kassick was facing the ground.
Mearkle told investigators she fired because she believed Kassick was reaching for a gun in his jacket pocket and because he ignored her orders to show his hands. She acknowledged that she did not see him display anything that could have been considered a weapon, the complaint states.
“She did not know what this person had under his belly and he kept going to it time and time again,” her attorney, Brian Perry, said. “She felt that pulling that trigger was the only option she had to protect her life.”
Read more: abc27.com