Attorney Todd Hollis said the initial $75,000 bond for his client Justin Harvey, 40, seen in two videos being beaten by police officers in Westmoreland County, was “ridiculous,” and that he preparing a civil rights law suit.
Officers out on leave, Harvey out on bail
“Both videos show Justin Harvey in handcuffs while he is being assaulted by police. That is a violation of his constitutional rights,” said Hollis. “At one point you can hear him saying ‘I’m not resisting. He says ‘I can’t breathe.’ And one cop can be heard saying ‘good.’”
According to the affidavit of arrest, Arnold police officers Wesley Biricocchi and Joshua Stanga pulled Harvey’s car over after he swerved across the wrong side of 16th Street. The report said Harvey admitted to smoking marijuana, but when they asked him to step out of the car, he drove off instead, leading them on a short chase.
Harvey then jumped from the car and tried to flee on foot before they, and officers from New Kensington, caught him in the 1200 block of Kenneth Avenue in New Kensington, about three-quarters of a mile from where the chase started.
In the report, Biricocchi said as Harvey ran, he pulled a handgun. When Biricocchi then drew his gun, Harvey tossed his weapon over a fence. He said Harvey stopped, but did not lie down as ordered at gunpoint, or when Tasered, so the officer took him to the ground.
He said he and Officer Stanga tried to arrest Harvey, but that he continued to fight with them while on the ground and tried to tuck his arms under his body so they could not handcuff him.