HUMMELSTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – Hundreds have signed a petition that urges the Hummelstown Police Department to dismiss Officer Lisa Mearkle despite a jury’s acquittal in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man.
In less than 48 hours, more than 2,400 people had signed the online petition started by a group called Hummelstown for Accountability.
The group posted the petition on Change.org on Saturday. It says Mearkle’s return to the police force would put people at risk.
Andy Hoover, a Hummelstown for Accountability organizer, said the effort has “captured the public’s response to the jury’s not-guilty verdict.”
“The jury had a tough job and we respect their decision,” Hoover said in a statement. “Nevertheless, 12 people don’t get to speak for our town. People in Hummelstown have strong feelings about Mearkle’s possible return to the police force. This petition speaks for them.”
Hoover said many people in the community came to their own conclusions after watching video of that shows Mearkle shocking and shooting 59-year-old David Kassick in February. The video from the officer’s stun gun was released by the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.
Hoover said the petition should speak for itself on the matter of Mearkle returning to duty.
“The citizens of Hummelstown will live in fear of this police officer,” he said.
Mearkle and the police department did not immediately respond to the petition.