Osaze Osagie was killed in March of 2019, after State College police responded to a call for help from Osagie’s parents over their son’s mental health issues.
The parents filed a federal suit, and in the new legal response, the borough says the police personnel involved, Officer Jordan Pieniazek, along with Sgt. Christopher Hill and Lt. Keith Robb, all acted in self-defense and followed training procedures.
According to the borough, Pieniazek shot and killed Osagie after Osagie first said “shoot me, kill me” and then lunged at the officer with a knife.
The borough denies the officers weren’t familiar with Osagie’s case and that the deadly shooting was the result of years of systematic failings by the police department to implement common sense policies as alleged by Osagie’s family.
The three officers, who have more than 50 years of combined service, were cleared of any wrongdoing in an investigation by the Centre County District Attorney’s Office and the state police.
In the wake of the shooting, a task force of experts recently issued a lengthy report that reviews and proposes improvements for Centre County’s mental health programs and services.