Bucks DA: No criminal charges for officer who shot man at New Hope Police Station

Jim Melwert
April 12, 2019 - 2:05 pm
Screen capture from video showing Brian Riling being shot during a struggle at the New Hope police station.

Bucks County District Attorney's Office


NEW HOPE, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The Bucks County district attorney's office has released finding of its investigation into a police officer who shot a man inside a holding cell in the New Hope police station last month. 

The shooting happened March 3 inside the New Hope police station. The incident is caught on video, released by the DA’s office.

Bucks County DA Matt Weintraub says an extensive review of the shooting finds it was “not justified but is excused.” As he says, according the that investigation, that officer was reaching for his taser and mistakenly pulled his gun.

Investigators say 38-year-old Brian Riling of Pipersville had been arrested for harassing an ex-girlfriend, showing up at her job, physically assaulting her, and threatening her in an effort to get her to change her story to police about a previous incident.

While in a holding cell, as he removed his belt, what appeared to be a packet of drugs fell to the floor. The 6' 4", 240-pound Riling quickly covered it up with his foot, then wrestled with two officers as they tried to grab it.

The officer yelled "taser!" before shooting Riling in the torso with his gun. Riling flushed the toilet as he slumped to the ground after he was shot.

The DA's office says, since the officer would have been justified in using his taser, but mistakenly grabbed his gun, there was not the mindset necessary for criminal charges.

Riling has been released from the hospital. Since no criminal charges are being filed, the DA's office says the officer is not being identified, but he has retired.
We’ve reached out to Riling’s attorney and are waiting to hear back.