Police

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The community where a police officer fatally shot Antwon Rose in June might get rid of its police department. East Pittsburgh officials said last month they’d consider paying another agency to police their borough.

Photo by Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA News

The Woodland Hills School Board on Thursday voted unanimously to renew two controversial security contracts.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Authorities say a Pittsburgh police officer was injured when his cruiser crashed into a barrier.

The single-vehicle accident occurred around 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. The officer was alone in the cruiser at the time, and no other injuries were reported in the crash.

The officer was taken to a local hospital in stable condition. But his name and further details on his injuries have not been disclosed.

It wasn't clear if the officer was responding to a call at the time of the crash.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

An effort to create a countywide civilian police review board has gained momentum since a police officer shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose last month.

Two weeks ago, a closely divided Allegheny County Council voted to hold up to four public meetings on how to form such a board.

But as the city of Pittsburgh has learned, establishing such a board may be the easy part.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Protesters demonstrated Friday for a third day over the fatal police shooting in Pennsylvania of an unarmed black teen fleeing a traffic stop as they sought to get the attention of a nation engrossed by the immigration debate, and to pressure officials to charge the officer.

Hundreds of marchers chanting "Who did this? The police did this" shut down a Pittsburgh area highway in the early morning hours, and a small group staged a sit-in outside the district attorney's office later in the day.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Ohio's voter registration law in a 5-4 ruling Monday that loosens restrictions on how and when the state can purge its voter rolls. Proponents of the law argue it keeps their record books cleaner, while voting rights activists argue it punishes registered voters for not exercising that right, and disproportionally removes minority and Democratic names.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania voters chose Republican and Democrat nominees for U.S Senate, 18 seats in the U.S. House,  governor and lieutenant governor, plus half the state Senate and the entire state House.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania police using body cameras on the job should keep them on to record the entire incident under nonbinding guidelines just released by the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.

The model policy announced Wednesday also says the recordings should be treated like evidence when they involve potential criminal cases, logged in as evidence and stored securely.

Allentown Police Department / via AP

A 45-year-old man managed to sign a 16-year-old girl out of her school 10 times in the last few months, and now the two are missing, police said.

Supreme Court To Hear Pennsylvania Vehicle Search Case

Jan 9, 2018
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Terrence Byrd was driving his fiancee's rental car on a Pennsylvania highway when a state trooper pulled him over for an alleged minor traffic violation. He acted nervously during the stop, at one point telling troopers he had a marijuana cigarette in the car, and officers eventually asked to search the vehicle.

Tim Lambert / WITF

A prosecutor says authorities are still investigating the motives of an Egyptian man who shot at police in several locations in Pennsylvania's state capital, wounding one of them, before dying in a shootout.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico gave no new information Tuesday about Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty's motives. The 51-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen fired at a police officer Friday afternoon in front of the state Capitol and later at a state trooper, wounding her.

Jared Wickerham / AP

Thousands of police officers from around the country turned out to pay respects to a rookie Pennsylvania police officer who was fatally shot in a traffic stop last week.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The 29-year-old accused of killing a New Kensington police officer last Friday has been charged with first degree murder of a law enforcement officer.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Funeral visitation began Monday for New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw, who was shot and killed Friday night during a traffic stop.

Pennsylvania State Police

UPDATED: 10:43 a.m. Monday, Nov. 20, 2017

Authorities are seeking a suspect in the fatal shooting of a rookie police officer.

Allegheny County Police Department

UPDATED: 5:23 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017

An intense search continued Saturday for a suspect in the fatal shooting of a young New Kensington police officer.

Mark Duncan / AP

Most companies hire based on a set of traditional criteria. For police, it's often prior military or law enforcement experience, physical fitness and maybe some higher education. One department in Minnesota decided to prioritize recruiting a different kind of officer. 

Daniel / Flickr

A small-town Pennsylvania police chief is drawing fire for an internal memo telling his officers to stop making so many traffic stops because of too many resident complaints.

Midland police Chief Keith McCarthy still wants his officers to stop suspected drunken drivers and others suspected of more serious offenses, but asked them to "stop traffic stops significantly." He warned officers who don't will be scheduled for fewer hours.

Charles Krupa / AP

Pittsburgh-area law enforcement agencies are equipping K-9 handlers with naloxone as reports of dangerous opioid overdoses continue to sweep the Midwest.

Allegheny County Police Officer Steve Dawkins said dangerous situations are in his 4-year-old partner's job description. 

Chicago Police Department / AP

The last few years have exposed major problems in policing: use of force, high-tech surveillance and a systemic lack of transparency. Some police tactics have even been called undemocratic, because the public isn’t involved on the front end.

Are High-Speed Police Chases Worth It?

Apr 25, 2017
Houston Chronicle/Nick de la Torre / via AP

High-speed chases down busy highways have become a news staple, as police attempt to arrest alleged criminals. But the people most often hurt by these scenes are the innocent civilians. Thousand have been injured or killed over the past few decades.

On this week’s episode of 90.5 WESA’s Criminal Injustice podcast, law professor and host David Harris talked to Dr. Geoff Alpert of the University of Carolina about whether these high-speed chases are really worth the cost.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity. 

Paul Sakuma / AP

Efforts to oversee police several decades ago resulted in hundreds of complaint review boards that investigate when an officer or civilian come forward about a specific case. But a new type of oversight is gaining traction – one in which appointed civilians look at whole departments and how they do their jobs day-to-day. 

Charles Krupa / AP

President Donald Trump has called for a return to “law and order” policing and shown support for stop and frisk and heavy use of force. Many modern police leaders aren’t buying in.

This week on 90.5 WESA’s Criminal Injustice podcast, University of Pittsburgh law professor and host David Harris looks at one non-member, nonpartisan organization that conducts field studies with real cops to find more nuanced data-driven ways to reduce crime.

LM Otero / AP

In recent years, DNA tests have proved something surprising: people sometimes confess to terrible crimes that they definitely did not commit. One reason seems to be traditional American methods of police interrogation. 

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

When a child is abducted, millions of Pennsylvanians are asked to help through the Amber Alert system. State Representative Dom Costa, D-Allegheny, is hoping to use a similar system when a police officer is hurt.

Miles Karson for Mercer County DA / Facebook

A western Pennsylvania prosecutor plans to release details about the police shooting of a transgender suspect whose mother called police saying she was being threatened.

Mercer County District Attorney Miles Karson Jr. says his staff was briefed last week by state troopers who investigated the shooting of Sean Marie Hake by Sharon police on Jan. 6. The DA plans to announce their findings at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

The 23-year-old suspect was born female but identified as male and used the name Sean Ryan Hake at the time of the shooting.

Gateway School District / Facebook

School police officers sworn into the Gateway School District were equipped with firearms for the first time after the district’s petition for an armed force was approved Tuesday. The district plans to have an armed officer at each of the district’s seven schools.

A similar petition was denied in September by Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Timothy O’Reilly who said the school board did not think the decision through and officers did not have enough training. The school board is still appealing that verdict.

Prosecutors Issue Guidelines On Probes Of Police Shootings

Nov 29, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP

The group that represents Pennsylvania prosecutors issued guidelines Tuesday for investigating shootings by police officers, recommending that departments do not investigate their own and that the shooters' names should not be released unless they are charged.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said the deaths of three people in a car who were struck on Thanksgiving by a fleeing suspect could have been avoided if the police departments involved went about it differently.

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