WATCH: Springettsbury Twp Police Brutality Cases Settled For $500,000

MARCH 13, 2014

Springettsbury Township has reached a settlement with two people suing them for police brutality. The Township agreed to pay Debra Williams and Steven Landis $250,000 each under a settlement reached today.

Springettsbury Township reaction
When reached by phone, Springettsbury Township Manager John Holman said he was waiting to receive of copy of the settlement from his attorney. He said the budget will not be affected by the settlement because the insurance carrier for the township will make the payments. He also went on to say, “The township is pleased to put this behind them.”

Attorney reaction
“This is clear vindication. Nobody pays a half million dollars if they didn’t do anything wrong. They had their opportunity to go to court, and they chose not to and instead they chose to pay the money,” said Devon M. Jacob, attorney for the plaintiffs and owner of Jacob Litigation. “Hopefully this is the beginning of the healing for the township and the removal of bad practices that resulted in the incidents.”

Springettsbury Township Police Department Officers were accused of using excessive force against a man and woman in two separate incidents in 2011 and 2012. Patrolman Chad Moyer was a defendant in both cases, which occurred 16 months apart. The other officers named in the suits are Patrolman Gregory Hadfield and Patrolman William Polizzotto. The plaintiffs’ attorney, Devon Jacob, released videotape to the media that captured portions of both incidents.

In the first incident, police were called to a domestic dispute. Arriving officers found Debra Williams being restrained by a male on the floor of a residence in the township. Williams claimed Officer Moyer punched and slapped her as she sat handcuffed in a patrol vehicle. Hadfield is accused of grabbing Williams by the neck and slapping and punching her as well. The video seemed to back up her claims. Hadfield also admitted to tasering Williams while she was handcuffed prior to being placed in the car. Jacob said that the officers should have been able to tell that Williams was emotionally ill, as she was visibly distraught and stated that she wanted to kill herself.

The second lawsuit stems from the arrest of Steven Landis on August 5th, 2012. According to the Complaint filed by Landis, Moyer spotted him walking in the area of Eden Road and Sand Bank Roads around 11:22pm. Moyer ran a check on Landis and discovered he had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest for a domestic dispute from earlier that night. Landis was not aware of the warrant at the time. During the arrest, which was recorded on dashboard camera video, Moyer is seen throwing Landis to the ground. Moyer can be heard making explicit threats. He kneed Landis in the ribcage, breaking five ribs. Polizzotto held Landis down and tasered him, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs agreed to drop the suits against the individual officers as a condition of the settlement.

Jacob’s said his clients will now be able to begin the healing process. “They were the victims of crime. This was never about the money. This money was offered over a month ago. They chose to delay accepting and entering into an agreement, until the non economic terms were agreed on by the township.”

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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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