Hangley Aronchick shareholders Dan Segal and Matt Hamermesh recently filed an amicus brief in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on behalf of a bipartisan group of 68 current former elected prosecutors, Attorneys General, and law enforcement officers concerning the excessive use of force by police officers.

The brief argues that the state’s use of force statute must be applied in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Tennessee v. Garner, which held that officers may not use deadly force when a person is fleeing unless they present an immediate threat of serious harm or death to the officer or others.

The brief was filed in support of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s appeal prior to the trial of former Philadelphia police officer Ryan Pownall, who is charged with homicide for the killing of David Jones. The Commonwealth alleges that Jones, a Black man, was unarmed and fleeing when Pownall shot him. And the appeal challenges Pownall’s claim that Pennsylvania law should be read in a manner that allows officers to use deadly force under these circumstances. Instead, the appeal and the amicus brief argue that the officer should only be permitted to argue that the shooting was justified if the officer’s actions were consistent with the requirements of the Bill of Rights, as explained in Tennessee v. Garner and other cases.