Local attorney discusses next steps for use of force by police officers

Local News

JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A video of a Johnstown Police Officer punching a man on the ground has spread through social media. A local attorney gives insight on what could come next.

“I want something done with him and I’m going to get a lawyer and I’m going to take them to court, that’s what I’m going to do,” said the victim’s father George Corson Sr.

It all happened after a patient walked out on a mental health evaluation at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center.

Attorney Thomas Dickey out of Altoona says it would be a tough case with police having some sense of protection in Pennsylvania from the 1983 Action under section 42.

“It’s almost like an additional field, it’s a shield of protection that protects people from liability and the theory behind that is that police officer and district attorneys, those individuals that enjoy those immunities…people wouldn’t take those jobs if every time they would arrest somebody they could be sued,” said Thomas Dickey, owner of Law Offices of Thomas M. Dickey.

“One side is going to say this is clear cut violations of my rights and clear cut assautl by a police officer unjustfied….and if it had to be defended the police officer is going to say what I did is entirely reasonable under the circumstances. I was justified in protecting myself for whatever reason.”

In a statement Thursday, Johnstown Police say the use of force was applied to gain compliance.

They added that charges will not be filed against the man because of his mental state and that the incident is still under investigation.

Dickey says for a case, there will need to be more video which could come from body cameras.

WTAJ has requested the video from the officer’s body camera and should have a response by next week.

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