Has Gilberton Chief Lost Credibility?
A YOUTUBE video posted by Gilberton Police Chief Mark Kessler has now gone viral.
“Just in case you missed that I have another message for you go (beep) yourself (gunfire) and if you missed that go (beep) yourself again,” said Kessler as he fires a fully automatic weapon.
In a profanity laced tirade the top cop from Schuylkill County lashes out at those who were offended by language he used when defending the right to bear arms.
Gilberton`s mayor says Kessler was using the guns on his own time and she supports his right to defend the second amendment.
However Pottsville criminal defense attorney Frederick J. Fannelli, who has more than 30 years of experience, says this could affect Kessler`s credibility, especially when the chief is called testify on cases in court..
“In a case where he testifies the prosecution will be struggling with the defense’s attempts to get this into evidence to show a jury,” said Fannelli.
Criminal defense attorney Peter Paul Olszewski who also served as a prosecutor and a Luzerne County Judge says the video would affect Kessler in court if he were the defendant himself because that’s the only way the video would be admissible at trial.
“In the unfortunate event that he has to use deadly force and shoots somebody and either kills them or wounds them, let`s suppose there is a civil trial,” said Olszewski.
State police say they investigated Kessler after a shooting inside a bar in Gilberton in 2011.
During an altercation, Kessler shot himself in the hand with his own gun.
State police no charges were filed because witnesses couldn`t be found.
“If he`s engaged in shooting and the district attorney of Schuylkill County determines that it was inappropriate and charges the chief criminally, that video tape may well be admissible to impeach his testimony,” said Olszewski.
Chief Kessler is in Texas; he told us over the phone he posted the images because he believes first and second amendment rights are being eroded.
He is expected to be back in Gilberton next week.
The mayor of Gilberton is postponing Thursday night’s council meeting to next Wednesday to allow a “cooling off” period and so that Chief Kessler can attend the meeting.