News

Judge to hear arguments on releasing fatal shooting video

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Apr 21, 2015 3:36 AM
Lisa_mearkle.jpg

Photo by Associated Press

(Harrisburg) -- A judge will decide whether a video showing the shooting death of an unarmed man by a midstate police officer should be released.

This morning's hearing comes as a result of the defense's request to keep the video private.

It reportedly starts when Hummelstown Police Officer Lisa Mearkle used her Taser on Kassick, before she shot and killed him with her gun.

After waiving her preliminary hearing, Mearkle's attorneys provided a statement, but it didn't address why they don't want the recording released. However, they have argued in the past that they don't want to prejudice a potential juror.

"I don't know that they necessarily have an opinion on whether they care that it's made public or not. I think that they've finally have come to a point where they're ready to view it themselves. They haven't been, up until very recently," says Christopher Slusser, an attorney for the Kassick family,  who calls the footage "absolutely shocking."

"We have no objection to the video being released. The defense filed a motion asking the court to conceal it. We're leaving it in the hands of the court now," says Dauphin County prosecutor John Baer.

He says he's not sure the video will be ready for public view immediately, if the judge's decision comes quickly.

Mearkle is charged with criminal homicide. She waived her right to a preliminary hearing for her case.

Meanwhile, Slusser adds he plans to file a federal lawsuit over Kassick's death within the next few weeks which would name not only Officer Mearkle, but potentially the Borough of Hummelstown and the Hummelstown Police Department.

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