I-Team: Wilkes-Barre Police Investigation

(WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY Federal investigators are beefing up their investigation into allegations of excessive force  by a Wilkes-Barre police officer.
     And two officers have been suspended in connection with a separate investigation involving a gun found in a holding cell.
The I-Team's Andy Mehalshick has our story

The I-Team has confirmed that two Wilkes-Barre police officers have been suspended for their alleged role in the discovery of a handgun inside a holding cell in March of 2016...

Sources close to the case tell the I-Team's Andy Mehalshick  it all started when a man was arrested and brought to the police station.  He was placed in the holding  cell and then sent to the county lock-up...

Several days a handgun was found inside that holding cell.
   .Police Chief Marcella Lendacky would  not comment on the suspensions because they are a personnel matter, but did say.."Everyone has been dealt a fair hand. I'm just holding people accountable for the job they are paid to do."

    The I-Team has also confirmed that federal prosecutor have issued a second round of subpoenas to the department's officers in connection with allegations of excessive force used inside another holding cell in March of that same year.
    
As Eyewitness News first reported in January. Sources close to the case say a young woman was arrested on St. Patrick's day and placed in that holding cell..

At some point she started screaming at a male officer..and an altercation took place and the officer allegedly picked her up, slammed her to the floor, handcuffed her and then dragged her inside the cell..It was all caught on camera..
   

Several officers including Chief Lendacky were called to testify before a federal grand jury in January.
Sources now say several more police officers will appear before the grand jury in the next few weeks.
  The union representing the police officers  says the investigations  are being blown out of proportion and accused the chief and the mayor of poor leadership.


     Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tony George insists that is nonsense..
"I have the utmost respect for the police department. The majority of them do a great job without complaining. The union members being disciplined are disgruntled actually they are bringing down the whole department." The Mayor told the I-Team

 Several city council members have called for an independent agency to evaluate the operations of the Wilkes-Barre police department.
     Chief Lendacky says she welcomes such an evaluation.

 


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