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"No Evidence to Support Criminal Charges" Against Allentown Officers | WDIY Local News

Allentown Police Department
/
The Valley Ledger

Last weekend, Allentown police responded to reports of a domestic disturbance on North 16th Street, where a woman could be heard yelling for someone to get away from her, according to a press release from Lehigh County District Attorney Gavin P. Holihan.

Pennsylvania police officers are required to take immediate action if they believe someone is in danger or in need of immediate aid when responding to alleged domestic disputes. The responding officers entered the apartment and were met by a male suspect, who they said immediately became combative and started striking the officers.

A phone video was taken of the arrest, sparking outrage when the officers were seen hitting the man with a baton and tasing him while he was handcuffed on the ground.

The officers were accused of using excessive force, but the Allentown Police Department’s Use of Force Review Board announced shortly after the incident that the response was justified.

During a press conference on Friday morning, officials showed officer body camera footage that revealed more information, including the fact that the suspect was restraining an officer while being hit and tased. This was after he had tripped the officer and knocked him to the ground.

District Attorney Holihan concurred with the review board that the use of force was justified after a full independent investigation.

Holihan concluded that there is no evidence to warrant criminal charges against any of the officers involved, and stated the importance of showing that they were simply trying to keep residents safe.

State Representative Josh Siegel of Lehigh County shared a statement following the press conference applauding the review process, emphasizing the importance of body cameras in protecting both officers and civilians.

James is the News and Public Affairs Director for WDIY. He reports on stories in the Lehigh Valley and across the state which impact the region, along with managing WDIY's volunteers who help create the station's diverse line-up of public affairs programs.
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