Proving Police Brutality: Compelling Video Evidence in Pennsylvania Cases

Authorities using physical force to restrain suspects do so under strict regulations set forth by the state and their agencies. When law enforcement officials go beyond those measured constraints, they endanger the public safety, decrease confidence in the very citizens they’re supposed to protect, and add to the victimization of innocent parties. A pair of lawsuits filed in federal court in March 2013 carries some compelling video evidence that our defense lawyers believe shows the police potentially breaking the law.

These lawsuits, according to the NJ Herald, allege that Springettsbury Township Patrolman Chad Moyer punched a handcuffed woman and kneed a man in the side. The latter incident left the man with five broken ribs, according to reports. Court documents also state officers engaged in a cover up to hide the abuse, including filing false reports about the incidents.

An Outstanding Warrant is not a License to Assault

In one video, Officer Moyer can be seen approaching a pedestrian, Steven Landis. When Officer Moyer determines Landis has a warrant out for his arrest, he moves to place him in custody before tackling him to the ground. The blow knocks out one of Landis’ hearing aids, and the video depicts the downed man screaming that he suffers from 80 percent hearing loss. Moyer filed an official report stating Landis “failed to obey commands.”

Moyer’s co-defendant in the suit, William Polizzotto Jr., is seen in the video using a stun gun on Landis twice while he’s on the ground.  According to court documents, the two police officers even debated if the injured Landis required medical attention. They chose to hand him over to the police department where his warrant was pending. He received no medical attention until after that time.

Woman Punched in the Throat By Police Officer

Debra Lynn Williams, 42-years-old, alleges in her lawsuit against Officer Moyer that in April 2011 he grabbed her punched and grabbed her by the neck while she was handcuffed. The suit also claims Moyer and a fellow officer, Gregory Hafield, filed false reports to cover up the excessive force used. Video from that incident shows Williams kicking the inside of a police cruiser, but only after officers hit and slap her repeatedly, according to the NJ Herald.

Flaws in the System

Suspects have civil rights just like any other American in the United States. Each person  who is arrested has the presumption of innocence, no matter the crime. Authorities have obligations to inform suspects in custody of their rights. It’s difficult to explain Miranda Rights to someone who’s just been punched in the throat or suffered five broken ribs. These are violations of civil rights, which could lead to the dismissal of charges through the work of experienced defense attorneys.

If you believe officers violated your rights in arresting you for a crime you didn’t commit, or falsified arrest reports to charge you with offenses that grossly overestimate the events of the incident, you need our help. Contact our law firm today for a no nonsense review of your case, and an explanation of how we can help.

HOW WE CAN HELP

DUI DEFENSE

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RESULTS

NO JAIL TIME

Commonwealth v. "H" (DUI case)

Client was charged with three separate DUI cases calling for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 90 days on each case. Client was advised to seek immediate intensive alcohol counseling. Client was sentenced to 1 year of house arrest after serving 3 days in the county prison.

CASE DISMISSED

Commonwealth v. "C" (Felony drug/Firearms case)

Client was charged with felony Delivery of drugs and illegal gun possession and was facing a mandatory 3-6 year prison sentence in the State prison system. Client was sentenced to one year of house arrest.

CASE DISMISSED

Commonwealth v. "S"

Client was charged with simple assault, domestic. After a hearing where evidence and testimony was presented, the entire case was dismissed by Judge Leonard Brown.

CASE DISMISSED

State of New Jersey v. "H"

Charges for young man charged with second degree aggravated assault were downgraded to third degree and he was accepted into the County Pretrial Intervention program with charges to be dismissed and record expunged after one year of misconduct free behavior.

OUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE TEAM INCLUDES TWO FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEYS

We have decades of experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors, and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Anyone facing charges involving a criminal offense can expect to experience a heightened degree of emotional turmoil, for themselves, as well as their family members. Our team of highly qualified criminal law attorneys and expert legal support staff are committed to providing each of our client’s with the compassion and understanding they deserve, as well as an aggressive plan for representation at an affordable price.

As former prosecutors, we have a balanced and in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and how the prosecution prepares cases. In addition, we have long-standing experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

At Young, Marr and Associates, when we say “experience matters,” we mean it. Our lawyers, which include two former prosecutors and a former senior deputy district attorney bring more than three decades of criminal law experience, handling more than 10,000 criminal cases. It is precisely that experience that allows us to achieve outstanding results for our clients facing DUI, traffic, felony and misdemeanor charges in state, federal and juvenile courts.