Attorney complains of 'rogue' Springettsbury cops in letter to FBI

Written by Gordon Rago, York Daily Record | Apr 23, 2015 11:25 AM

(York) -- The attorney representing Todd Shultz, who was fatally shot by a Springettsbury Township police officer in 2012, wrote a letter Wednesday to the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice, saying the department has "gone rogue."

Devon M. Jacob also represents Debra Williams and Stephen Landis, two others involved in alleged use of force incidents with Springettsbury Township Police in recent years.

Todd Shultz killing screen grab 300x170.jpg

Photo by York Daily Record

A screen grab from video taken by a Springettsbury Township police dashboard camera shows police with guns drawn (left) moments before Todd Shultz (right, in gray shirt) moves toward them and is fatally shot outside the Kmart on Haines Road on December 29, 2012. (Image taken from video)

The letter uses the more recent shooting of Shultz at a Kmart -- where he was shot 17 times by two officers, Gregory Hadfield and James Miller -- as an argument that the actions by police and the York County District Attorney's office are "dangerous and unlawful."

In an $8 million federal civil suit filed last year, Jacob said the crux of the claim against police, District Attorney Tom Kearney, the township and county, is that Shultz had turned his back before the last 11 shots were fired, violating his civil rights.

Jacob writes in the letter this week that as a result of law enforcement in Springettsbury Township going "rogue," the general public is in "grave danger."

But Mike Flannelly, the York County solicitor, disputed those claims Wednesday, describing Jacob's most recent letter as a "stunt." He said it was clear that the use of force was justified in regards to District Attorney Tom Kearney's ruling.

"The notion that the people of York County are in danger because of the district attorney's decision is absurd," Flannelly said by phone. "We have thoroughly examined the conducts of the DA in response to the incidents," he added, "and we are entirely comfortable with the position he has taken."

Kearney was unable to comment on the letter because he was named a defendant in the ongoing lawsuit, said Kyle King, spokesman for the York County DA's office. A motion to dismiss the $8 million civil suit filed by Flannelly, who has previously said the level of force by officers Hadfield and Miller were "reasonable given the threat," is still pending.

Springettsbury Township Police were not immediately available for comment.

Also of interest

Springettsbury police lawsuit focues on 11 final shots caught on video

Two experts: Police killing of Todd Shultz justified 

Kerney, county move to dismiss $8M fatal shooting lawsuit

This article comes to us through a partnership between York Daily Record and WITF. 

Published in News, York

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