Lebanon City Council candidate mulls legal options after posting video of police officer striking him

MOUNT JOY, Pa. - A man running for Lebanon City Council recently decided to post a video of an encounter he had with a Mount Joy police officer, which appears to show the officer striking him and his cell phone.

Royal Marti, 21, who is seeking a seat on the council, has retained an attorney in the matter, and is mulling over whether to pursue further legal action against the borough.

The video was recorded around 3 a.m. March 31 of this year, and it shows Marti with his boyfriend at a Turkey Hill gas station in Mount Joy. The officer reportedly questioned the men about a scooter in the parking lot, but the discourse turned antagonistic as the camera started rolling.

"It's the police using excessive force and unwarranted force in this matter," Jorge Pereira, Marti's attorney, said. "Essentially, it's a criminal assault against my client."

The borough says it investigated the matter when it received the video.

"Naturally, since this is both a litigation and personnel matter, the Borough is constrained as to the comments which it can offer publicly," it said in a statement. "That video...resulted in the department taking immediate action to investigate the matter and it undertook appropriate steps to comprehensively address the situation."

Pereira said Marti's candidacy played no role in the posting of the video.

"It's actually a distraction now with regards to his campaign, so no, there was no ulterior motive to post this now to help him with his campaign," he said. "He started to worry that essentially there was going to be some sort of retaliation for him making his claims and reporting the violence by the officer, so he decided to make a public record."