Cop Shoots Man in Back

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And has been acquitted:

Video has been released of a Pennsylvania police officer fatally shooting a man in the back as he lay face down on the ground with his hands visible.

The video emerged during the hearing of Officer Lisa Mearkle of the Hummelstown Borough Police Department, who was found not guilty of criminal homicide after shooting dead 59-year-old David Kassick earlier this year.

The footage shows the aftermath of Mearkle’s run in with Kassick over an expired inspection sticker. Kassick unfortunately chose to flee his vehicle and run home. He was later found to have alcohol and drugs in his system.

Mearkle gave chase and eventually was able to deploy a taser. The footage shows the officer repeatedly firing the taser into Kassick, by then on the ground.

While Kassick writhes in agony, Mearkle, clearly in a panicked rage, continues to yell “get on the ground.”

After a time she then shouts “Show me your hands!” Kassick is seen holding his hands forward and saying, “I am showing you.”

It appears from the footage that Kassick attempts to remove the taser barbs from his body, which seems to have been the prompt for the officer to shoot him.

The arrest affidavit stated:

“At the time Officer Mearkle fires both rounds from her pistol, the video clearly depicts Kassick lying on the snow covered lawn with his face toward the ground, furthermore, at the time the rounds are fired nothing can be seen in either of Kassick’s hands, nor does he point or direct anything toward Officer Mearkle.”

The video was kept under wraps by Judge Deborah Curcillo, in order that officer Mearkle could receive a “fair trial”.

“This ruling only prevents the public from viewing the video and forming opinions about it prior to a constitutionally protected proceeding,” Curcillo wrote in her 11-page ruling at the time.

A Dauphin County jury acquitted Mearkle of third-degree murder and voluntary and involuntary manslaughter charges, even after seeing the footage.

The jury was convinced that Kassick’s hands disappeared beneath his body enough times, which made it appear he was searching for a weapon.

After the verdict, Mearkle said she felt “relief” and tearfully said she was sorry the shooting had happened.

“it’s going to take a little bit for me to get back to my normal self,” she told reporters, adding “This has taken a toll on me that nobody understands.”

Certainly the family of David Kassick does not understand.

This represents yet another case of a routine traffic stop going horribly wrong. While Kassick should certainly not have fled, it seems that the use of deadly force by Mearkle was very excessive.

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  1. Rubber bullets, (good) tasers, bean-bag guns, rock-salt from a shotgun, or any other alternative would have helped avoid this problem. What bothers me most is not the death of this guy – its the fact that officers really do feel they have a ‘license to kill.’
    When will we ever read a story about a cop getting shot and killed due to self-defense? The news quickly forgets about the numerous incidents of rape committed by officers. It is starting to mirror the indicents of molestation in the Catholic church.

    • It was female porker – the worst sort.

      Leaving aside the obvious other issues, they are physically unable to deal with a large male absent mechanical force (Tazers, pistols, etc.). In other words, female cops have to escalate to “do their jobs.”

  2. We all know that the officer must have “feared for her life” and was therefore justified in killing the man in question. (/sarcasm)

    For as “heroic” as these officers are, I’m shocked at how often they experience “fear”.

    • Driving with drugs and alcohol in your system and running when stopped and not showing your hands when asked is 4 strikes. Usually only 3 strikes and you are out. Eric says that all of these are fine. Heck even taking a swing at the cop is OK. I do not have a problem with what happened.Clover

      • “Driving with drugs and alcohol in your system and running when stopped and not showing your hands when asked is 4 strikes. ”
        Poor Clover, can’t even count to 4.

      • “look at what you made me do”

        This is the justification. It’s always the victim’s fault in tyranny. Insufficient obedience to authority.

        Furthermore Clover here will insist that petty things like “inspection stickers” are not punishable by death, and won’t escalate to the death penalty, yet here we are and of course Clover finds it justifiable because the guy tried to flee the tax enforcer.

    • He was farting as he ran. She was afeared of one of those deadly anal guns.

      If you really want to get to the reason of this, it’s a big piece of shit sitting above everyone else with robes on and a gavel in its hand.


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