Last year, Gregory Longenecker was run over with a bulldozer during a police chase over a few cannabis plants, and now his family is suing the state police and the game commission.
Last year, 51-year- Longnecker was spotted by police and a Game Commission employee near about ten cannabis plants that he and his friend were reportedly tending too. They fled the scene, and his friend was quickly captured, but Longnecker managed to flee. The police sent a helicopter to follow him, while a state trooper and game warden continued to chase after him on a giant bulldozer.
Longnecker escaped through the thick bushes in the woods, so officers in the helicopter stayed in contact with the bulldozer on the ground and gave them directions towards Longnecker. The bulldozer tore through the thick bushes where Longnecker was hiding and ran over him, but his body was not found until hours after the chase was called off. His body was found trapped under the bulldozer, and he was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
Longenecker’s uncle, Mike Carpenter, who’s named as a plaintiff in the federal suit, told The Associated Press.
“They killed a beautiful human being, a caring, loving man. He’ll never be able to share his life with us, or us with him, again. For no reason. He wasn’t hurting anyone,” Carpenter said.
Police conducted an internal investigation and determined that Longenecker “attempted to allude apprehension and intentionally crawled under the bulldozer when it came to a brief 30 second stop.”
However, Longenecker’s family doesn’t believe the assessment, and they want justice for the dead loved one.
Longnecker’s friend David B. Light was with him on that morning and believes there is no way that he crawled under the bulldozer intentionally.
“That morning, Gregory was not high or under the influence. He was normal. There is no way Gregory crawled underneath the back of the bulldozer. It is unthinkable and ridiculous that anyone would say he crawled underneath,” Light said.
The family’s lawyer, Jordan Strokovsky said that the police department needs to be held accountable for what they did.
“State police ran Gregory Longenecker over with a government-operated bulldozer and essentially turned him into human roadkill. There will be a thorough investigation, and a lot of questions will be answered, and ultimately, those who need to be held accountable will be held accountable,” Strokovsky said.
Oddly enough, Cannabis is legal for medical use in the state of Pennsylvania, and just this week, lawmakers in the state introduced legislation that would legalize the substance for recreational use. Considering the shifting legal status of cannabis, it is alarming to see such heavy-handed tactics being used against cannabis users. It seems that some police departments aren’t ready to give up the war on drugs so easily.
Featured image: TFTP
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