Police Chief reacts to police abuse allegations

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Springettsbury Township Police Chief Thomas Hyers has seen the police dash-cam videos in question. “I think they speak for themselves, and now the matter is under investigation,” said Chief Hyers.

Hyers held a press conference Tuesday morning to be open about how his department is handling the allegations. “I’ve taken several key steps to ensure we keep the public’s confidence,” Hyers said.

“I’ve been asked if I regret the camera being in the car, absolutely not. The cameras serve their purpose that they are meant to do. Other agencies choose not to use them, we choose to be open and transparent with everyone,” Hyers said. “The fact that we’re open and being very diligent in this investigation builds the public confidence. They can say we actually have a police department that is open and transparent and being right out there with us. That’s what the people demand. That’s what they expect, and that’s what we will give the people of Springettsbury and York County.”

He has asked District Attorney Tom Kearney and State Police to do an independent investigation. He has placed the three officers involved in the arrests, Patrolman Chad Moyer and Patrolman William Polizzotto Jr. and Cpl. Gregory Hadfield on administrative desk duty until the investigation is complete.

Attorney Devon Jacob, of Boyle Litigation, filed the federal civil rights lawsuits last week for Debra Williams and Steven Landis. He feels the investigation needs to be fair. “The problem is that the District Attorney’s office has already chosen a side of the case. In that regard they are already prosecuting or have attempted to prosecute Mr. Landis and Ms. Williams. The fact remains, common sense dictates that you can’t be on both sides of the case,” said Jacob. “They should have been taken seriously the moment this happened. The only reason anything is being done now is because there is civil litigation and granted that is part of the purpose of civil litigation.”

The first lawsuit stems from an incident that occurred on April 2nd, 2011. Police were called to a domestic dispute. According to the Complaint, arriving officers found Debra Williams being restrained by a male on the floor of a residence in the township. Williams claims Patrolman Chad Moyer punched and slapped her as she sat handcuffed in a patrol vehicle. Cpl. Gregory Hadfield is accused of grabbing Williams by the neck and slapping and punching her as well. According to a press release from Devon Jacob, this can all be seen on the video. Hadfield also admitted to tasing Williams while she was handcuffed prior to being placed in the car. Jacob says that the officers should have been able to tell that Williams was emotionally ill, as she was visibly distraught and stated that she wanted to kill herself.

The second lawsuit stems from the arrest of Steven Landis on August 5th, 2012. According to the Complaint filed by Landis, Moyer spotted him walking in the area of Eden Road and Sand Bank Roads around 11:22pm. Patrolman Chad Moyer ran a check on Landis and discovered he had a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest for a domestic dispute from earlier that night. Landis was not aware of the warrant at the time. During the arrest, which the attorney claims is caught on dashboard camera video, Moyer is seen violently throwing Landis to the ground. Moyer can be heard making explicit threats. He kneed Landis in the ribcage, breaking five ribs. Patrolman William Polizzotto Jr. held Landis down and tasered him, according to the release.  Both Williams and Landis were charged with resisting arrest for the incidents. William’s charges were dropped.

10 comments

  • Citizen

    This is fine work done by the people who are supposed to be serving and protecting us. Most of these police officers are just on power trips and I am certin there are many many more citizens that were treated like this or even worst and are affriad to come forward about it. Its usually the poilce officers word over some person. Then to be put in front of a judge who works with the poilce officers on a daily basis and gets paid from the same tax money we all pay in each and every paycheck. Who do you think is in favor each and every time.

    • Steve Kline

      Proud to see the chief stepping up and handling things rather than sweeping them under the rug. Now lets wait and see if real justice is brought forth. Those officers need to wear and orange jump suit rather than a blue uniform. Cops should be charged more aggressively that the public as it is there duty to uphold the law…… Breaking it should have a zero tolerance policy.

    • Tim

      You are a bigger idiot than that idiot attorney!!!! I hope you retards that live in Springettstbury get your taxes jacked way to pay for these derelicts and their idiot attorney!!!!!!!!!!!

  • toomuchpower.

    The cops in this area do this all the time. Both the emts and a police officer physically and verbally abused my husband while he was having a stroke.

  • JustSayin

    Does anyone know if officer Chad Moyer use to work at North Hills elementary school as a teacher prior to becoming a police officer?

  • David

    Wow! I am so glad to see that everyone has kept an open mind and has not formed their opinion based on a a VERY SMALL portion of a video that the press has decided to re-run ad naseum in this spot. Interesting how they only showed a few seconds of each video and only the portion where the officers are applying force. Golly, based on this unfair reporting we can assume that two innocent individuals were going about their legal affairs when all of a sudden these "barbarians" launched an unprovoked attack on them. Based on that one sided reporting, we should be seeking to "tar and feather" these animals and then burn their homes to the ground. Oh, that's right, the feudal justice system has been revised since the 1600's and we should WAIT until the investigation is done and we are allowed to not only see the ENTIRE video but also read the comprehensive force investigation by the outside agency before we form an opinion. Cute statement by the plaintiff's attorney (who is looking to make money by filing the suit) saying that the DA's decision to not prosecute bolsters his case. There are a HOST of reasons why a DA may not proceed with a case and has nothing to do with a lawful application of force by a police officer.

    If these officers have used excessive force based on a "totality of the circumstances" then they should be dealt with appropriately and they should NOT be allowed to be in law enforcement.

  • Cassy

    I hope they get fired and they get thrown in jail for this I am related to one of those punk ass cops victims and I will stand behind my family 100%. The lawsuit should have been done ALOT soon but o well better late then never!

  • For The People

    Cops who act out of anger can be more dangerous than the people they are arresting. After all, they are carrying deadly weapons and are trained to use them. So what happens when they get the wrong person? The police force needs patient, understanding and decent human beings. I understand that some of their suspects are real "dirt bags" BUT it's not up to individual police officers to take the law into their own hands and punish or beat a person they think is guilty. The judge will decide who is guilty and what the punishment will be. When you are a bystander, watching a cop beating someone. What can you do??How do you stop it?? You can't!!_That's why the police officers that have this power, this authority and our trust. Must have the mentality to handle it.. These guys do not!! _I suspect that these guys have gotten away with this kind of behavior so much in the past that now, even with the cameras in their car, they believe they are untouchable._The full videos are available online._Another Thought. _Imagine being mistaken for somebody else that these guys were looking for. Imagine trying to explain you're situation. With police officers like this, Imagine what might happen. You might be next.

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