Brian Riling, 38, was shot by a police officer during a scuffle inside a holding cell at the New Hope Police Department (Pennsylvania).
Riling was in police custody on March 3, 2019, after an arrest on intimidation charges. After being taken into custody, Riling was placed in a holding cell and asked to remove his belt. As he did so, a small object fell to the floor, and Riling stepped on it to hide it from two officers standing nearby. Thinking it was drug paraphernalia, the officers tried to retrieve it, and the three men got into a struggle.
During the fight, one officer pulled out a gun and yelled “Taser”. He fired, hitting Riling in the torso. But he didn’t fire his Taser. He fired his gun. The officer who shot Riling said he mistook gun for Taser. Riling slumped to the floor and screamed in pain. Medics then took him to a hospital, where he remained in critical condition for several days. He was later released.
In March 2021, Riling sued the officer who fired at him. He claims that the police officer violated his constitutional rights by using excessive force.
MASS MEDIA ABOUT THE CASE:
“Given the totality of circumstances, the officer would have been justified in using his Taser to regain control of Riling inside the holding cell, as the officer had a reasonable belief the scuffle posed a danger to his fellow officer,” the prosecutor said.
“After careful consideration, I have determined that [the officer’s] shooting of arrestee Brian Riling on March 3, 2019, was neither justified, nor criminal, but was excused,” the prosecutor said.
The initiative group has requested the clarification from US President Joseph Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland. The initiative group believes it is important to fight against police brutality and, if necessary, will provide legal and financial assistance to the family of the victim.