Civil rights attorney talks about impact of video on excessive force cases

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Devon Jacob is a national civil rights attorney who currently has cases in six states. Many of his current cases involve video that shows police officers and law enforcement officials using what some would consider excessive force.

The Dauphin County district attorney’s office announced it will release video that will show Hummelstown police officer Lisa Mearkle fatally shooting 59-year-old David Kassick after he fled from a traffic stop. Investigators say Kassick was lying face down and was unarmed when Mearkle shot him in the back.

Jacob says people have to understand why Mearkle is being charged with homicide.

“It’s not just the video, it’s the fact that we have a district attorney in Dauphin County who is stepping up and doing the right thing,” he said.

Jacob says he is involved in two high-profile cases involving police in which a man was shot and killed in York County and another man was kicked and punched by state police troopers while on the ground in Franklin County.

Jacob says both incidents had video to support excessive force, but there was no justice for the victims.

“In both cases, the district attorney did nothing,” he said. “If Ed Marsico decided he was not going to file charges in Dauphin County, there is nothing that can be done.”

Mearkle is facing homicide charges. Jacob says there are many scenarios that could play out, including a plea agreement.

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