On October 27, 2014, Eli Heckman could hear the ear-shattering screams of man being arrested. Curious as to what was going on, Heckman grabbed his cell phone and quickly discovered several police officers ‘arresting’ a man nearby. The man was screaming and moaning from what seemed like an endless amount jolts from a stun gun that was pressed deep into his back.
It didn’t take very long before the cops noticed Heckman recording, and even less time to realize that now there was video proof of their criminal actions. One officer, Jason Ammary, began barking orders at Heckman, commanding him to leave the area. The officer grabbed and shoved Heckman several times during the encounter as he was being arrested.
Heckman was charged with disorderly conduct and failing to disperse under official order. Considering that numerous courts have upheld the public’s right to film police, all charges against Heckman were dismissed.
Now, Heckman is suing the police department for $150,000, claiming that the officer used excessive force by shoving him, twisting his arms behind his back, and for smashing his cellphone on the ground (presumably an attempt to destroy the video evidence).
The city had knowledge that due to … nationally publicized incidents of its use to record public actions of police officers, especially those appearing to commit civil rights abuses, that a citizen’s use of a cellphone to capture public police conduct would occur within the city of Allentown, but failed to develop and maintain any policies, customs, rules or regulations regarding same, the suit states.
Back to the man who was being brutalized by police – that man is Alexander Aron. Police were in the area searching for a robbery suspect when they came upon Aron sitting on his own front porch. Police say that he was “uncooperative” and that he refused to give the officers his name, so they arrested him for resisting arrest, simple assault, and disorderly conduct.
It seems the Allentown Police Department should have a refresher course on the basic principles of law enforcement and the U.S. Constitution. They should also fire all of the officers involved in the incidents that night, as they are an embarrassment to the community they serve.
Ammary, the Allentown Police Officer at the center of these incidents, is no stranger to questionable tactics. In 2011, he was accused of excessive force for using a stun gun in the crotch of a 14-year-old high school student. A Federal lawsuit is currently pending against Ammary and the Police Department over that incident as well. With Ammary causing at least two separate lawsuits against the Police Department, one has to question what the officer did to deserve an award for merit?
Below is the video in which Officer Jason Ammary tased a 14-year-old girl in her groin.