News

Gettysburg ordered to release parts of report into police department

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Aug 11, 2016 7:11 PM
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This screenshot shows 28-year-old Derek Twyman in his car during a May 2015 police stop in Gettysburg as Gettysburg Borough Police Officer Christopher Folster aims his Taser at him.

(Gettysburg) -- A state agency has ordered the borough of Gettysburg to publicly release an investigation into an officer who used a stun gun on a man sitting in his car during a traffic stop.

But there are some conditions.

The state Office of Open Records has ruled the borough must release parts of the report on its police department and Officer Christopher Folster.

The officer used a stun gun on 28-year-old Derek Twyman as he refused to get out of his car during a traffic stop in May of last year.

Folster's report did not match up with body camera footage from the incident.

In a settlement with the borough announced in late June, Folster is get $10,000, free legal defense, a clean personnel file, a pension, and insurance coverage through the end of the fiscal year.

The borough has fought releasing the report for months, but Gettysburg Times reporter Jim Hale appealed to the state.

"If experts have ideas for improvement, then the public needs to be able to hear those and judge whether those recommendations are being followed," says Hale.

Gettysburg spent thousands of dollars on the report.

He adds: "The public paid for those recommendations, they deserve to read them."

However, Borough Manager Charles Gable maintains there isn't anything new in the report.

"I would say that people really need to have confidence in their elected leaders that they are giving this due consideration and our taking their task as elected officials very seriously," he says. 

"Even a report released in a redacted form would reiterate what the community is already aware of through various media reports."

Gable says borough lawyers are reviewing the state's decision, and will decide whether to appeal.

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