An Erie police officer who was caught on video kicking a seated protester during an incident in late May won’t face charges, the Associated Press reports.
The protester also will not face charges, Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri said Thursday, according to the Associated Press. At a news conference, Daneri said the officer, whom city police have declined to identify, did not do anything to warrant prosecution.
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Daneri said the officer, who was suspended for three days, had the right to use that kind of force given the circumstances, the AP reported.
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Daneri also mentioned that at the time the protester — Hannah Silbaugh, 21 — was kicked, police and a law enforcement vehicle needed to get past a line of protesters to attend to more serious violence in the area. Daneri said the protesters could have been charged with failure to disperse, but his office declined to file those charges because of the facts and in the interest of moving forward.
News of the officer’s suspension provoked intense debate on social media, with some complaining of a “double standard.”
“When a cop kicks a protester it’s a suspension. If a protestor [sic] kicked a cop it would be assault. The double standard is ridiculous,” Drew Zimmerman, an Erie Facebook user, wrote in the comments of a story by GoErie.com.
Silbaugh’s attorney is suing Erie officials for the officer’s name, the Capital-Star reported last month.