Spring Garden police release part of video from crash that killed 2 cousins

Liz Evans Scolforo

The York Dispatch on May 2 filed a Right-to-Know request with Spring Garden Township Police, asking to see dash-cam video from a Nov. 8, 2015, police pursuit that ended in a double-fatal crash.

A police chase in Spring Garden Township ended with the suspect vehicle crashing into a garage, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. John A. Pavoncello - jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com

Killed in the crash, which happened in the 1300 block of Second Avenue in the township, were York City cousins Brandon Moultrey, 22, and Elijah Moultrey, 19.

At the time, Brandon Moultrey was a wanted fugitive who should have reported to prison a month earlier to begin serving a 1½- to three-year state prison sentence for being a heroin dealer.

Two days after receiving the dash-cam request, Spring Garden Township’s Right-to-Know officer, Linda Keller, sent The York Dispatch a letter saying the request was under review.

On June 3, Keller sent a follow-up letter stating, “Your request is approved in part and denied in part.”

Keller noted that while dash-cam video is “generally considered” to be public record, investigative portions are considered protected information under Pennsylvania law.

One of two cousins killed in Spring Garden police chase was wanted fugitive

Her letter instructed the reporter to contact Spring Garden Township Police Chief George Swartz to provide The York Dispatch the public portions of the video.

“The portions of the video from the initiation of our pursuit up until the crash we consider investigatory in nature,” Swartz said Wednesday. “What the statute allows for is release of information that is noninvestigatory in nature.”

That means the portion of the video that’s public begins after the pursuit and crash.

State police were asked to conduct an independent investigation into the crash, since it happened while a Spring Garden officer was chasing the Moultreys, police have said.

A memorial was set up at the scene of Sunday's crash into a garage to the rear of the 1300 block of Second Avenue in Spring Garden Township. Cousins Elijah and Brandon Moultrey were killed in the crash, which happened during a police chase. (Liz Evans Scolforo photo)

Swartz confirmed that is standard procedure. It also is the protocol of the York County District Attorney’s Office to ask that state police investigate. The findings are then turned over to District Attorney Tom Kearney, who determines whether police acted properly.

“What I was advised is that the district attorney’s office is reviewing the preliminary findings … of the state police,” Swartz said. “There still may be some work yet to be done that I’m not aware of.”

Swartz said once Kearney makes his determination and the case is closed, the township would consider releasing more of the dash-cam video if it receives another Right-to-Know request.

“If that information is no longer considered investigatory … we would then follow the right-to-know law in providing that,” he said.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.