Call for investigation of police shooting in Hummelstown

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Apr 13, 2015 3:58 AM
Marsico 600x340.jpg

Photo by Marie Cusick, WITF

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico spoke about the charges against Hummelstown police officer Lisa Mearkle in March.

(Harrisburg) -- A Dauphin County police officer is facing criminal homicide charges for shooting an unarmed man in February, and now a group of residents is also calling for a separate investigation.

About 600 people are asking for a complete look at Hummelstown police officer Lisa Mearkle's actions on the day she shot and killed David Kassick.

Mearkle had been pursuing Kassick after he ran from a traffic stop.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico has filed murder charges against Mearkle for the shooting.

But Andy Hoover, who organized the petition, says he's seen police officers walk free after shootings, and he wants to confront that possibility even before a trial.

"If that plays out here, I think there will be a lot of people that will be up in arms. That was the whole point of putting forth the idea of a full inquiry and a professional review by the borough," says Hoover.

Hoover wants the investigation to be conducted by Hummelstown Borough, but hasn't received a response yet.

"In order for residents to have trust in the borough's leadership and in the police department's leadership, this kind of open review needs to be done. Without it, there will continue to be divides and mistrust of the borough's leadership," adds Hoover.

He says some in the community fear retaliation and are afraid to speak out.

Hoover promises that the group he works for - the American Civil Liberties Union - take the appropriate steps if anyone faces a backlash from borough officials.

He wants the review to determine not only whether Officer Mearkle's action were professional and necessary, but if she is fit to be an officer.

No trial date has been set in Mearkle's case.

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