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Pennsylvania police shoot dead unarmed man who drove car at them

By Marcus Hondro     Dec 31, 2014 in Crime
Police shot and killed a 52-year-old man when they went to arrest him. They pulled him over and when he tried to run an officer down, police opened fire.
Threats to police on Youtube
It happened in Clifton Heights, Pa., adjacent to Philadelphia, on Tuesday. Police superintendent Michael Chitwood said that on Youtube a man known to police, Joe Pacini, a white male, had "threatened to kill police, threatened to kill FBI agents." The threats to police came after one tried to speak with him about a complaint an employee of a gym had made against him.
Those posts were available for all to see and in them Pacini spoke of killing officers and not ever going back to prison, where he had been before. Police obtained an arrest warrant and a SWAT team was dispatched to serve it.
However, he was found in his car in an intersection near his home and pulled over. They told him they were placing him under arrest but he did not comply and get out of his vehicle.
When police approached the Pacini vehicle Superintendent Chitwood said the suspect "put the car in reverse and tried to run over the Clifton police chief, smashing his SUV." Other police officers, police said a total of five, opened fire upon Mr. Pacini's vehicle.
"They shot and killed him." Superintendent Chitwood said. "He was using his vehicle as a weapon. They did what they had to do." Chitwood said Pacini did not fire at the officers and none of the officers were hurt. At the time that he was being interviewed by media, Chitwood was not aware if Pacini had a gun in the vehicle with him.
History of mental illness
A local news station, WTXF reported police said Mr. Pacini suffered from mental illness and had been arrested on two occasions, once for recklessly endangering another person, false imprisonment, and making terroristic threats. The warrant police were intending to serve the deceased with Tuesday was also for making terroristic threats.
Since grand juries failed to indict a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City in the deaths of two unarmed black men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, police shootings, in particular of blacks, has been a hot-button issue in America. There have been mostly peaceful protest in many major U.S. cities, though there has also been law-breaking.
There have also been threats directed at police and instances of shots fired at police. In New York on Dec. 20 two officers were shot and killed while eating lunch in their cruiser by a black male who'd posted online he wanted revenge for blacks killed by police. The man later killed himself.
The shooting of the man in the car is under investigation and the officers involved will be interviewed by the office of the local District Attorney.
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