HUMMELSTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – A group called Hummelstown for Accountability has posted a petition online asking that officer Lisa Mearkle not be allowed to return to the borough’s police department.
Mearkle shot David Kassick, 59, in the back as he was lying on his stomach on the ground. Mearkle says she thought Kassick was reaching for a weapon. She was charged with his murder and a jury found her not guilty.
“I think there are going to be people in Hummelstown who are either scared or at least not trusting of her,” said Andrew Hoover, a petition organizer.
The petition includes a letter to Hummelstown police Chief Charles Dowell. It states that Mearkle’s actions in Kassick’s death were “unprofessional, inappropriate, and wrong.”
“If you allow her to return to her job, the residents of Hummelstown will not be safe and the credibility of the Hummelstown police department will be greatly diminished,” the letter states. “Please dismiss Mearkle from the HPD, effective immediately.”
More than 2,800 people have signed the petition, which has been posted online for three days. The majority of signatures are from residents in the Hummelstown and Harrisburg area.
“This is about our community healing and it is about everyone involved in this situation having an end to their suffering; Dave’s family, officer Mearkle and her family and the people of our town,” Hoover said.
A Hummelstown council member, who did not want to be identified, told ABC 27 that council members plan to discuss how they will handle the matter at a regularly scheduled workshop on Thursday.