Police officer named in 2 excessive force lawsuits

A York County police officer has been named in two new federal civil rights lawsuits that accuse him of using excessive force during arrests that were recorded by video cameras.

The separate suits filed Thursday allege the Springettsbury Township patrolman punched and slapped a woman while she was handcuffed in the back of a police car in April 2011, according to attorney Devon Jacob.

“The fact that this has all occurred and there has been silence out there and these three officers remain out on the street is extremely troubling and should be very scary to everybody living in that township,” said Jacob.

No criminal charges have been filed against the officers.

Jacob said he also represents a township man who claims he was thrown to the ground, threatened, and had five ribs broken when he was arrested by the same officer in August 2012.

The lawsuit names two other Springettsbury Township police officers. One of them allegedly punched, slapped, and used a stun gun during the April 2011 arrest, and the other is accused of unnecessarily using a stun gun during the August 2012 arrest.

“My goal is, of course, to make sure my clients are made whole but to make a change here, to force a change, to force the township and the police department specifically to correct itself,” Jacob said.

Portions of the arrests were recorded by police video cameras. Jacob has released copies of the videos.

Springettsbury Township Police Chief Thomas Hyers said that he has not received or been officially notified of any civil actions being taken against any member of the police department. He added that he would not comment on any active investigation or pending lawsuit until the matter is fully investigated or resolved.

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