Sep 10, 2018
Firing The South Whitehall Police Officer
The officer involved in the fatal shooting at Dorney Park has been fired by South Whitehall. He was a rookie, still in the evaluation period. While that status makes his dismissal a non issue from a legal or union point of view, it doesn't rest well with me. Those supporting it cite the fact that he didn't first attempt using less lethal options, such as his taser or baton. I think that view somewhat dismisses the circumstance.... the victim had been just earlier on the hood of his patrol car pounding the windshield with his fists. Tasers have a reputation of not stopping drug induced rage, which seemed to be in play on that day.
The Morning Call article announcing the firing states that the decision was made by the leadership of South Whitehall. While the announcement mentions Chief Dorney, it is not clear who made the decision. In South Whitehall the leadership is the township commissioners. New commissioner Mark Pinsley was actively supporting the protestors and local NAACP, who viewed the incident as racial.
I cannot imagine that the decision to terminate the patrolman does much for force morale. While I do not outright condemn the decision, it certainly illustrates what a hard job these officers have.