Allentown police officers fatally shot 27-year-old Dominick Hogans near downtown, but it remains unclear if the officers are still on duty. Police said Hogans fired at them before they shot him. The Allentown Police Department has not released any further information about the shooting or the status of the officers involved. The Lehigh Valley Justice Institute has called for transparency in police departments and questioned why the department has not disclosed if the officers are on leave. The institute believes transparency is crucial for maintaining community confidence in the use of lethal force as a last resort. Jason Addy reported
The man, identified as Dominick Hogans from Allentown, was shot by Allentown police in the 600 block of Turner Street after he fired at them, according to a news release by the Allentown Police Department.
- A 27-year-old man, Dominick Hogans, was shot by Allentown police officers
- Dominick Hogans died less than an hour after being shot by the police, as confirmed by the coroner
- Top police officials have refused to comment on whether the officers who fired their guns are on leave, in accordance with department policy
The Allentown Police Department released the initial news release at around 9:15 a.m. on Monday, shortly after Hogans’ death at a local hospital. However, since then, no further information about the shooting has been provided by top officials of the department.
When asked about the incident, Police Chief Charles Roca stated that they would not be releasing any additional information at this time. Assistant Police Chief Michael Becker also declined to answer any questions, including those regarding the status of the officers involved in the shooting. Captain Thomas Anderson responded to inquiries about the department’s use-of-force policy by stating that the APD has no comment.
Joe Welsh, the founder and executive director of the Lehigh Valley Justice Institute, emphasized the importance of transparency in such cases. He stated that increased transparency is necessary to prevent people from forming their own conclusions due to a lack of information. Welsh also questioned the decision of the Allentown Police Department not to disclose whether the officers involved were on paid administrative leave, as it would not compromise the ongoing investigation.
The Allentown Police Department’s use-of-force policy states that officers involved in incidents resulting in death or serious physical injury should be placed on administrative leave until cleared by a mental health professional and the Chief of Police.
Importance of Transparency
The Lehigh Valley Justice Institute, an independent research, policy, and advocacy group, has been advocating for increased transparency in local police departments following officer-involved shootings. Welsh highlighted the need for clear and timely information about the status of officers involved in such incidents.
Welsh acknowledged that there may be legitimate reasons for withholding certain details during ongoing investigations but stressed the importance of transparency to instill confidence in the community. He emphasized the need for a thorough investigation before releasing details to the public.
Welsh also mentioned the Lehigh Valley Justice Institute’s report, which calls for the tracking and publication of data on officers’ use of force. He stated that transparency is crucial in providing a balanced view and ensuring that lethal force is used as a last resort.
Tracking and Publishing Data
The Lehigh Valley Justice Institute’s report highlights the importance of collecting and publishing data on incidents involving officers’ use of force. It mentions the New York Police Department’s Force Dashboard as an example of effective data transparency. Welsh mentioned that Allentown Police Chief Charles Roca is considering implementing a similar dashboard in Allentown.
Welsh believes that publishing data on use-of-force incidents, especially when a weapon is fired, is necessary to protect both community members and officers. He hopes that the Allentown Police Department will adopt its own dashboard, providing a comprehensive view of use-of-force incidents within the department and building community trust in the appropriate use of lethal force.