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on February 14, 2017 at 5:28 PM, updated February 15, 2017 at 12:34 PM
“State Trooper Ryan Luckenbaugh stepped way over a legal line when he kicked a handcuffed Harrisburg activist in the face during a May 2015 confrontation in the city, a prosecutor told a Dauphin County jury Tuesday afternoon.
Then, Luckenbaugh compounded his crime by lying repeatedly on an affidavit that unjustly sent Christopher Sienneck to county prison for two weeks simply for flashing his middle finger at the cops, Senior Deputy District Attorney Stephen Zawisky said.
“This case is about an abuse of police power,” Zawisky said as Luckenbaugh’s trial on assault and official oppression charges opened.
That fateful kick was even filmed by the dash camera on a police cruiser, he said. “You’re going to see the kick on video,” Zawisky promised the jurors.
Things aren’t so straightforward, however, Defense Attorney Edward Spreha Jr. countered.
“I’m not going to stand here before you and say (Luckenbaugh) acted 100 percent appropriately on that night,” Spreha said. “He is going to admit that things should have been done differently.”
Still, he insisted Luckenbaugh’s acts “didn’t his to the level of criminal activity.”
Spreha called Siennick “the local leftist” and insisted he was “looking for a reaction” from the police. It was Siennick, he said, who ran when Luckenbaugh and his partner, Trooper Michael Trotta, approached him at Second and Locust streets.
“He escalated the situation,” Spreha said of Siennick.
Zawisky saw that differently. He said there was no reason for Luckenbaugh and Trotta – who was later fired over other misconduct allegations – to even be in the city around 2:30 a.m. on May 16, 2015. They decided to cruise in the Second Street area because they knew the bars were closing on Restaurant Row, the DA said, and “They went there looking for action.”
When they first encountered Siennick, he was skateboarding down the street in the wrong direction, the prosecutor said. He said that even though Siennick flashed the troopers his middle finger as he passed them “that is protected speech.”
Yet their dash cam recorded Luckenbaugh saying “Oh, that’s going to be a BPR,” meaning an incident that would prompt an internal affairs investigation by state police, Zawisky said.
Luckenbaugh would later claim in Siennicks’s arrest warrant that Siennick ignored his verbal commands to get off the street, and that Siennick hit or threw something at his cruiser, the prosecutor said. The dash cam recording shows both of those accusations are deliberate lies, he said.
That recording also shows what happened after the troopers chased, Tased, pepper sprayed and handcuffed Siennick and sat him on the curb in front of their cruiser, Zawisky said. He said Siennick was irate, was calling the cops “fascists” and “pigs” and was spitting in reaction to the pepper spray.
When Siennick got some spittle on Luckenbaugh’s shoes, the trooper said, “Spit on this and he kicked him in the face,” Zawisky said. “Certainly, Trooper Luckenbaugh knew he couldn’t kick a handcuffed man in the head.”
These crimes are like rape
They are about power and control
And these sociopaths will lie, cheat and steal to cover their crimes up
See a cop coming your way?
Your life and freedom is in danger any time you have contact with them
“So, don’t give a cop the finger!”
That is a bullshit answer to cover for the actions of a scumbag abuser
It’s the same as “Don’t make me hit you, Darlene !”
There is no blaming the victim here
It is the fault solely of the psychopath with the handcuffs and gun
Now it is all about video
A few years ago and this degenerate would have walked
Good riddance to you and any more like you