HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Dauphin County judge has temporarily blocked prosecutors from releasing video of a Hummelstown police officer fatally shooting an unarmed man in the back.
Judge Deborah Curcillo issued an order Monday that prevents the district attorney’s office from releasing the video to news outlets who file open records requests.
Officer Lisa Mearkle is charged with criminal homicide in the Feb. 2 shooting of David Kassick in South Hanover Township, which was recorded by a stun gun camera.
Mearkle, a 15-year-veteran of the police department, was charged last month after District Attorney Ed Marsico concluded she was not justified in using deadly force.
The district attorney said Kassick, who fled an attempted stop for expired inspection and emissions stickers, was not physically aggressive and never brandished anything that could have been viewed as a weapon.
Mearkle claims she fired in self-defense because Kassick kept reaching under his waist and she thought he was reaching for a gun. Her attorney filed a petition to stop prosecutors from releasing the video, claiming it could influence potential jurors.
Curcillo will hold a hearing next month to determine whether releasing the video would interfere with Mearkle’s right to a fair trial.