HUMMELSTOWN, Pa. - Officer Lisa Mearkle has not yet returned to work at the Hummelstown Police Department, but she has said she intends to, and some community members turned out in a crowd to say they don't want her back.
Mearkle was acquitted in the murder of David Kassick last week. After he ran from her during a traffic stop, she tased him repeatedly and then shot him twice in the back, killing him. She said she thought Kassick was reaching for a weapon, although he was unarmed. The jury found her not guilty.
But shortly after the verdict, the district attorney released the taser video of the shooting. Some people in Hummelstown says it shows Mearkle is not fit to be a police officer.
The group Hummelstown for Accountability held a meeting at Alexander Library Thursday night where so many neighbors turned out, they couldn't fit into the conference room. They waved signs and walked together to the borough council meeting.
The signs said "David's Life Mattered" and "I Can See His Hands" with a photo from the taser video. About 100 people attended the meeting, and public comment went for almost an hour.
"This woman, I feel, has destroyed a lot of Hummelstown," says one emotional speaker. "She has made a break here. She's done something that - I mean I grew up here. There's never been anything like this here before."
The borough council went into a closed door meeting after public comment to discuss "personnel and litigation" issues. They say they have not yet make a decision about Mearkle's future employment.
David Kassick's sister, Diane Fetters, also attended the meeting. She says her family is still grieving the loss.
"I've been here 35 years, I'm not moving," says Fetters. "And I just hope that everyone can come back together, but we do have a problem here and it does need to be taken care of."