Pennsylvania officer who fatally shot unarmed man in back cleared of murder


A jury in Dauphin County acquitted Hummelstown Police Officer Lisa Mearkle of third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of 59-year-old David Kassick.

Mearkle fires her taser — 50,000 volts — into his back, and he writhes in pain in submission. Complying with Mearkle’s commands, Kassick makes his hands visible. As he lays face down on the ground, Mearkle shoots him with her gun, twice. 

Contrary to Mearkle’s claims that she shot him in self defense because she thought he was reaching into his jacket for a weapon, no weapon of any sort was ever found.

Of course she wasn’t found Guilty, like the rest of them, why do cops investigate themselves. #Hate it!

TLDR; Christmas Up North

I don’t publicize that I’m out of town until the vacation is over because I think I’m important enough to rob or something. However, I’m home in Alabama now, and I can give you a brief(?) tour of my Christmas in R’s hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania and in his grandparents’ town of Wilmington, Delaware.

I finally got to see R’s alma mater, Penn State University. Set aside the recent tragedies associated with the school, and you will be amazed by the beauty and integrity that remains with the institution. We started our tour with his collegiate swimming pools, residences, and – of course –  the FAMOUS Berkey Creamery. This is the part of school that the Food Science majors “own,” and where Ben & Jerry got their start before dropping out and kicking ice cream’s ass. R had the Cookie Dough & I had Coffee Break. DELICIOUS.

The Nittany Lion statue is a must for alumni and visitors.
DUDES. These squirrels LOVE people. This little guy is about a half-second away from swiping that peanut out of my hand. I felt like Snow White because he and about a dozen of his friends swarmed me with affection. Died. I heard about a time that R’s brother saw a squirrel emerge from a trash can with an entire slice of pizza. Those precocious little nuggets!

Old Main is gorgeous, and so is the rest of the campus. A+.

We found out that R’s sister-in-law, Steph, is totally terrified of nutcrackers. Of course we bought her one as a gift from Penn State (she’s also a grad), and we kept hiding it places to scare the shit out of her. It was magical.

We had a white Christmas!

Fun to watch R be a slave to shitty weather, but I’m very glad southern Alabama doesn’t get snow. I’d be late for everything, everyday, all the time, ever.

Drove over to Wilmington, Delaware for Christmas at R’s grandparents’ enormous, historical home. We got to see lots of family, and we had a great time playing pool, ping pong, poker, and more.

The ladies in R’s family threw me an extravagant bridal shower at their country club. So fancy pants. I felt like a loser in my 2009 Rodarte for Target dress, but it’s whatever. I was pretty nervous, but I had a great time and met a family friend who runs the Delaware SPCA, so I got to talk about rescue animals…always a plus.

R’s aunt Lelané is an amazing cake artist, and she made us this delicious and beautiful white chocolate almond cake. YUMMMM.

The brothers, their ladies, and their parents in front of their childhood home. Their parents are moving to Illinois this year after 24 years in this home, so we had to get a group shot in front of the house!

All I do is be pretty.

Cop Arrested After Video Shows Her Shoot Unarmed Man in Back Lying Face Down in the Snow

Harrisburg, PA– Hummelstown police Officer, Lisa J. Mearkle was charged with criminal homicide on Tuesday in the shooting death of 59-year-old David Kassick on February 2. Mearkle shot Kassick as he laid face down on the ground in the snow, unarmed, during a routine traffic stop gone awry. Mearkle had attempted to pull Kassick over for an expired…

Things I appreciate about where I live:

(In no particular order)
1. Having back roads to drive down for miles with no one to disturb so I can sing at the top of my lungs and blast my indie music without disrupting anything.
2. Trees. From the first leaves of spring, to the last leaf of autumn. To the gorgeous snow covered branches or completely incased in ice. Evergreen trees that never lose their pines….Trees can be beautiful in so many different ways.
3. To combine the first two: wooded back roads.
4. The weather. I love being able to experience every season: scolding summers, breezy & wet autumns, bone-chillingly cold winters, rainy yet sunshiny springtimes.
5. Meadows. There are many pretty flower filled meadows around here that, even after losing all their flowers, look beautiful in the winter as well.
6. SNOW. I could not imagine a snowless winter. There’s nothing I love more in the natural world.
7. Animals. Deer, coyotes, cats, foxes, bears, ect.
8. The city. Harrisburg is nothing compared to Pittsburgh, where I’ll be living come August, however, it’s got potential.


Officer shoots unarmed man while he is face-down on the ground

The Dauphin County district attorney’s office has released footage of a police officer fatally shooting an unarmed motorist in the back in February as he lay face-down on the ground. Lisa Mearkle, 37, of Hummelstown police, is seen shocking 59-year-old David Kassick with a Taser, before shooting him in the back. Mearkle, who was cleared of murder charges on Thursday, says she feared for her safety

Warning: this video may be disturbing to some viewers

Pennsylvania cop charged with killing unarmed driver as he was facedown

A Pennsylvania police officer was charged Tuesday with criminal homicide after investigators concluded she shot an unarmed motorist in the back as he lay facedown after a traffic stop over an expired inspection sticker.

Authorities accused Hummelstown police Officer Lisa J. Mearkle of shooting 59-year-old David Kassick twice on Feb. 2 without legal justification. She was released on $250,000 bail.

Her attorney, Brian Perry, said Mearkle acted in self-defense, and he warned the case could cause police officers to hesitate in high-pressure situations.

“She felt like she had to do what she did,” Perry said. “This person was being commanded, begged, ‘show me your hands,’ and he kept going to his waist.”

Authorities said Mearkle had attempted to pull over Kassick for expired inspection and emissions stickers before he sped away. She caught up to Kassick near his sister’s home where he had been living for a short time.

He got out and ran before Mearkle incapacitated him with a stun gun, held in her left hand. He was on the ground when she shot him twice in the back with the gun in her right hand, police said.

Mearkle, 36, told investigators she fired because he would not show her his hands and she thought he was reaching into his jacket for a gun. Perry said she did not know Kassick before the shooting.

The offense of criminal homicide encompasses a range of charges, from misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter to felony first-degree murder. Prosecutors often narrow the charge later in the process, about the time when defendants are formally arraigned.

The stun gun contained a camera that recorded audio and video from portions of the encounter, and District Attorney Ed Marsico called it the strongest evidence in the case.

He said it appeared Kassick had been trying to remove the stun-gun probe from his back.

“At the time Officer Mearkle fires both rounds from her pistol, the video clearly depicts Kassick lying on the snow covered lawn with his face toward the ground,” according to the arrest affidavit. “Furthermore, at the time the rounds are fired nothing can be seen in either of Kassick’s hands, nor does he point or direct anything toward Officer Mearkle.”

Marsico said Mearkle waited 4 seconds between the first and second shots, and afterward performed CPR. He called the shooting “a tragedy for all involved.”

The district attorney said a syringe was found near Kassick’s body, and alcohol and unspecified drugs were found in his system.

Lawyers for Kassick’s family and estate issued a statement calling the charges “a substantial step toward closure” after what they described as a horrifying tragedy. They said he had worked as a Teamsters union laborer and struggled with addiction.

“Mr. Kassick is now dead as a result of a traffic stop, a routine traffic stop,” said one of the family’s attorneys, Christopher Slusser. “He should not be dead. He should not have died as a result of that traffic stop. And the manner in which he was shot – you can infer from that what you will.”

Hummelstown Police Chief Charles M. Dowell did not respond to a message seeking comment, but his department issued a news release that said it had cooperated fully, calling the matter “an extremely difficult case for all involved.”

“We are servants of justice and must now allow the judicial process to conduct a fair and impartial review of the allegations that have been presented,” the news release stated.

Perry said Mearkle has been on the force for 15 years. She is married to a state trooper and has young children at home, he said. She was expected to be under electronic monitoring.