DA clears police officers in excessive force complaint

York County District Attorney Tom Kearney says two Springettsbury Township police officers named in an excessive force lawsuit were justified in their actions during an arrest last year, and their conduct does not merit criminal charges.

Kearney said Friday that the officers had ample reason to be concerned about their safety during the encounter, and were justified in the amount of force they used.

A township resident, Steven E. Landis, filed a lawsuit in March against the officers, claiming he was thrown to the ground, threatened and had five ribs broken when he was arrested on Eden Road on Aug. 5, 2012.

Kearney said Landis, who was wanted for an assault on his wife, failed to comply when told to place his hands behind his back and appeared to be reaching for his waistband, and he continued to resist arrest when he was placed on the ground.

The district attorney last month cleared one of the officers in a second lawsuit alleging excessive force during a 2011 arrest.

Landis's attorney, Devon Jacob, issued a statement that said Kearney's findings are “hardly surprising” since York County is named as a defendant in the federal civil rights lawsuit.

He said the matters involving both of his clients will be referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office for a “proper criminal investigation.”


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