The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday again refused to issue any new information on an officer-involved shooting that occurred on the night of March 3 at the New Hope police station.
While a D.A. investigating a given deadly force incident typically attempts to balance the public’s right to know with protecting a case and affording due process to those involved, determinations of appropriateness usually occur within days, not weeks.
Why is Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub taking so long to issue a finding in the shooting?
“He wants to give it his full attention, and it would not be fair to divide his attention between this and the sentencing phase for the Sullivan trial,” explained a spokesperson for the D.A.’s office on Thursday.
Weintraub is personally prosecuting the case against Jacob Sullivan, who is facing a potential death penalty after pleading guilty last month to the rape, murder and dismemberment of 14-year-old Grace Packer in Richland Township in 2016.
But the D.A.’s office hasn’t yet provided even the most basic details of the March 3 New Hope shooting, only acknowledging that the officer involved was not injured, the man shot was hospitalized, and that he remained in stable condition as of March 8. And local police and public officials have been effectively gagged while county detectives investigate.
So, why not release elementary information about the incident, like the name of the man shot, or the officer’s identity, or even the exact time and place of the shooting?
“Like any other investigation, we prefer to release the facts when we have them all at the conclusion to the report,” replied the spokesperson for the D.A.
Multiple sources say that the New Hope police officer fired his weapon at a man already in custody during a scuffle at the police station at around 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 3.
Weintraub was raised in Bucks County, has nearly 25 years experience as a prosecutor, and has served as Bucks County D.A since 2016.
Weintraub and his prohibition of any comment is throwing our police under the bus. Everyone is just assuming a Keystone Kops Barney Fife thing. Thanks a lot Matt