Earlier today, a jury in Dauphin County acquitted Hummelstown Police Officer Lisa Mearkle of third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of 59-year-old David Kassick. Kassick had ran from Mearkle after being stopped on a minor traffic violation (expired inspection sticker).
He was then Tased repeatedly and subsequently shot to death in spite of being on the ground with his hands clearly in view and facing the other direction. Contrary to Mearkle’s claims that she shot him in self defense because she thought he was reaching into his jacket for a weapon, no weapon of any sort was ever found.
After the verdict was announced, the video from Ofc. Mearkle’s taser was released. Police had refused to release it prior to the verdict and it’s pretty obvious why when you watch it (see below). In that video, Kassick is knocked to the ground immediately by the shock from the taser. He then lays on his stomach with his hands out in front of him throughout the entirety of the video.
In spite of that, Mearkle continues yelling for him to get down on the ground and to show her his hands, which are clearly in view as he lays on the ground the whole time. It’s pretty reminiscent of the many, many, many videos in which you see cops yelling for people to stop resisting even though they are not in any way actually resisting.
Both the verdict and the video have gotten the expected reaction. After the verdict was read Kassick’s family and others in the courtroom shouted “murderer” at Mearkle. Similarly, public reaction since the video was released has been decidedly against Mearkle, with most viewers expressing the same opinion of her.
While Officer Mearkle, who has been on paid vacation since the shooting, has expressed the intention of returning to the streets of Hummelstown, Kassick’s family has already filed a federal lawsuit over his slaying. So, soon the citizens of Dauphin County and Pennsylvania will be forced to bail out yet another Killer Cop, who decided to fear for their life for no actual reason.