HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A prosecutor said Friday that he intends to make public a video of a police officer fatally shooting an unarmed man in the back as he lay face down.
District Attorney Ed Marsico notified a judge in Harrisburg that he will release the video Wednesday unless the judge intervenes.
“Many people have requested it - I’m not standing in the way of the requests,” Marsico told reporters at a news conference on another topic.
Police say the video from the stun gun of Hummelstown police Officer Lisa Mearkle shows her shooting 59-year-old David Kassick twice after a Feb. 2 chase that began over expired inspection and emissions stickers.
She was charged March 24 with criminal homicide and awaits trial.
The judge had previously been asked by defense lawyers to block the video’s release on grounds it could unfairly influence potential jurors and would give an incomplete picture of what occurred.
But Judge Deborah Curcillo declined to act unless prosecutors said they planned to make it public. Marsico said Friday afternoon that he hadn’t heard back from the judge after announcing his plans to release it.
Mearkle’s lawyers have said she acted in self-defense and was concerned that Kassick may have been reaching for a weapon. She is suspended without pay from the police force.
It’s unclear why Kassick ran from police, but investigators found a syringe near his body that may have been his, and he had unspecified drugs in his bloodstream.
Authorities say Mearkle shocked Kassick four times with a stun gun, equipped with a video camera, before shooting him twice, four seconds apart, as he lay face down.
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