Acquitted Officer Says Being Charged at all For Shooting Unarmed Suspect Was ‘Politically Motivated’ and That the Victim ‘Made Her Do It’



Max Chantha | November 7, 2015

PENNSYLVANIA – The case of officer Lisa Mearkle was one that seemed to offer a glimmer of hope to the police accountability community, after the video of her shooting an unarmed and prone suspect went viral, and she was charged with third degree murder.

However, in another crushing blow to the public, Mearkle has walked free of all charges.

The now widely seen video in question shows Mearkle yelling orders at victim David Kassick, an elderly man and known drug addict.

The video, recorded on her body camera, shows him complying with orders, laying face down and keeping his hands visible.

Unfortunately, due to the angle of the camera, what appeared to be Kassick adjusting his arms for comfort – he was an elderly man, laying face down in snow – Mearkle construed as reaching for a weapon, and shot him twice in the back.

No weapon was ever found.

In a strategy typical of cops hoping to avoid blame for their actions, Mearkle sought to cast herself as the victim, instead of the man that needlessly lost his life at her hands.

Though Mearkle says she didn’t have any desire to kill the completely unthreatening and unarmed Kassick, apparently he made her do it.

This type of speech feigns sympathy for Kassick and his family, while still avoiding responsibility for killing an old, unarmed man.

Mearkle also painted herself as the political target of the District Attorney.

She has said that she became a target not because of her actions, but for mysterious political reasons.

To avoid scrutiny on herself, Mearkle instead put the government body that tries to prosecute people for serious crimes on trial.

This case highlights many of the issues those in the police accountability community have been decrying for years.

Police have tried to placate us with promises of body cameras that will allow for more transparency; yet when they actually show an officer at fault, they still dodge justice.

It also highlights the vilification of drug users.

Kassick’s well known problem with drugs made it easier for police apologists to blame his lifestyle choices and past mistakes as justification for his death, instead of objectively looking at the circumstances.

Watch the video below:

Max Chantha is a writer and investigative journalist interested in covering incidences of government injustice, at home and abroad. He is a current university student studying Global Studies and Professional Writing. Check out Max Chantha: An Independent Blog for more of his work.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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