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Activist Leon Ford Says Pittsburgh Officer Disrespected Him, Prompting Internal Investigation

Virginia Alvino Young
90.5 WESA
Pittsburgh Police Commander Eric Holmes speaks to the press about a weekend incident involving activists Leon Ford at a news conference on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018.

An encounter between a Pittsburgh Police officer and activist Leon Ford is under internal investigation. Ford, who was shot and paralyzed by Pittsburgh Police in 2012, described the past weekend's encounter in a Facebook post that's garnered more than 1,000 shares.

Ford wrote that he smiled at an officer and was met with a glare. He said the officer then refused to give his name when Ford asked for it, and wasn't wearing a name tag, which is against the bureau's policy. Ford said the officer told him he "was only looking for another check." 

According to city spokesman Tim McNulty, the officer has been identified as Paul Jenkins.

At a news conference Monday, Commander Eric Holmes said he can't comment on the particular incident, but said that police aren't perfect. 

"Every once in a while we make a mistake and we have to live up to that mistake, be accountable for that mistake, and will work to get better." Holmes said. 

In his post, Ford said that it could only take one small incident to create a big problem in Pittsburgh. The city experienced numerous protests after an East Pittsburgh police officer shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose earlier this summer. 

Katie Blackley contributed to this report.