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Identity & Community

Chief McLay: Police Should Use Minimum Force Necessary In Arrests

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala's office will refile criminal charges against an off-duty Pittsburgh police sergeant in the violent arrest of an intoxicated man outside Heinz Field in November.

Initial charges were dismissed on Tuesday by a district judge, despite testimony from the bureau’s use of force trainer that the sergeant’s actions were inappropriate.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay has said he supports Zappala’s decision.

“Even if a hypothetical officer may engage in use of force that meets the low-bar standard of objective reasonableness, I, my officers, my profession have to hold ourselves accountable to higher standards of professionalism," he said.

McLay said Pittsburgh officers are trained to use the minimum force necessary.

Surveillance video from the November arrest shows Sergeant David Matakovich repeatedly pushing and punching 19-year-old Gabriel Despres.

The FBI is currently reviewing the case.

"Given what has been occurring nationally, I am not surprised the FBI would have interest in this case," McLay said in a statement.