A Pennsylvania cop shot a 20-year-old man to death Sunday night, claiming the man was holding a knife to his mother’s throat.
The man’s mother, however, denies that claim, saying her son never held a knife to her throat.
The Harrisburg Police Department does not use body cameras, so unless a citizen video surfaces, it will remain the cop’s word against the mother’s word.
All that can be confirmed now is that Earl Pinckney was shot dead by a police officer, who has not been named.
In fact, he was not even seen, having shot Pinckney through an open window from outside.
During a press conference Monday, Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marisco said police were responding to a 911 call from a child inside the home, reporting that her uncle was trying to hurt her grandmother.
More than a dozen police officers responded with some climbing on top of a back porch overhang where they peered into a second-floor bedroom, which was where they claimed Pinckney was holding a knife to his mother’s throat.
One of the officers fired, killing the man.
Pinckney’s mother, Kim Thomas, said she never even saw the cop who shot her son through the window.
According to Penn Live:
Thomas insisted that her son had no knife. She showed her neck, to show there were no marks on her skin.
“No, no,” she said. “He never had a knife.”
“Nothing,” she said. “He didn’t have nothing in his hands. He was holding my head. They never came in.”
Thomas said her son was bipolar and that police knew that. She said that was “no excuse for them to come in and shoot him.”
“He wasn’t dangerous,” Thomas said. “He didn’t deserve this.”
Pinckney, who went by Leek Moss on Facebook, became a father just last month. A very proud father, according to his Facebook page, which also showed he had a good relationship with his mother.
Less than eight hours before he was killed, he posted the following photo on Facebook with his mother leaving a comment only nine minutes later.
On Friday, he posted the following photo, tagging his mother, saying his daughter was at her grandmother’s house.
The shooting created tensions in the community that is ranked as one of the most dangerous in the country with more than 100 citizens gathering around the house after the shooting, demanding answers.
But questions surrounding the shooting will likely go unanswered or simply buried, and can only be obtained by a court order, as the state adamantly protects public employees over a citizen’s Right To Know.
The law contains a large section of exempt records, which include investigative records from police or public agencies with respect to employees, allowing public employees to move from agency to agency.
The public records law also prohibits an agency of forwarding information about a public employee to another state agency, allowing public employees accused of anything short of child abuse to move from agency to agency without repercussions and no trail of paperwork.
Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, is a large part of the history of the nation and home to some of the nation’s prized historical items and places. The State Library, which located just behind the state capital building, holds law books once owned by Benjamin Franklin, used to create the basis the Commonwealth.
Below are two more screenshots from his Facebook page, showing a positive relationship with his mother, followed by videos from Penn Live, including an interview with his mother, claiming her son never held a knife to her throat as well as a video from the outside the home on the night of the shooting.
PINAC Publisher Carlos Miller contributed to this report.