PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One day after a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed against an Elizabeth Borough Police officer alleging “excessive and unnecessary force,” the Allegheny County District Attorney Office has weighed in.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr.’s office released a statement saying that “the arresting officer’s actions were not inappropriate, given the circumstances.”
The statement from spokesman Mike Manko, said Zappala Jr.’s office has reviewed the April 2015 surveillance video of the confrontation between police Officer Garrett Kimmell and 21-year-old Joshua Brooks, of East Pittsburgh at the Elizabeth Borough Police Station.
After consulting with a “use of force” expert, a decision was made not to file charges against Kimmell.
Brooks was arrested on charges of suspected heroin possession and the video released by his attorney, Todd Hollis, showed Kimmell using his forearms, elbows and knees after Brooks had already been taken in custody.
Brooks was unarmed, with one of his ankles shackled to a bench and one arm in a cast.
Hollis called the video “repulsive and disgusting.” In the federal lawsuit, Hollis requested a jury trial in the case.
The attorney for Officer Kimmell says his client reacted to an aggressive defendant who refused to comply with lawful orders and attempted to swallow heroin.
In December, the District Attorney’s Office dropped all the assault and related charges against Brooks that Elizabeth Police had filed, with the except of a drug possession count.
The D.A.’s statement said that his office “could not sustain the burden of proof because Kimmell did not sustain any serious bodily injury. For that reason, the statement said, “The charges were withdrawn.”
Brooks pleaded guilty, and was placed on probation on the drug possession charge.