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Metzger and Kleiner Represents Family of Man Killed by Police

Mentally Ill Man Shot By Police

Police shot and killed a man in Allentown in February, 2013, contending that he had approached officers with a machete, and that efforts to neutralize him with a Taser were unsuccessful. The man’s family indicated that he had experienced mental health problems for the better part of the last 20 years, and had been prescribed medication to deal with schizophrenia. At the time of his shooting, the victim had not been taking his medication and, according to his girlfriend, had not had much sleep for nearly a week.

Family members believe that police could have done more to bring the man into custody without killing him, contending that the police officers didn’t need to use deadly force. Though the Lehigh County prosecutor issued a preliminary statement indicating that police officers acted reasonably, the evidence contradicts that statement, including the discovery of 13 shell casings found at the scene of the shooting.

The use of deadly force by police officers is specifically limited to defending against or, attempting to arrest someone, for a “forcible and atrocious crime.” A forcible and atrocious crime has been defined by the U.S. Supreme Court to include “any felony that is reasonably believed to threaten life or great bodily injury so as to instill a reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury.”

The law office of Metzger & Kleiner is representing the family in an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. The victim was survived by his daughter, mother and siblings.

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At Metzger & Kleiner, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment to discuss your concerns about injuries caused by a failure to diagnose, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 215-622-2210 in Philadelphia, 610-563-2186 in the Lehigh Valley, or toll free at 800-228-1760.

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