Mayor Decries Protesters Outside His Home All Night

Aug 19, 2020

A small number of protesters who remained outside the home of the mayor of Pittsburgh overnight were dispersed by police Wednesday morning and the mayor issued a statement decrying residents being “harassed and threatened."

Public safety officials said the remaining protesters were ordered to disperse just before 9:45 a.m. Wednesday following “multiple 911 calls overnight for ordinance complaints" in the Point Breeze neighborhood.

Mayor Bill Peduto said he had “long defended" the right to peaceful protest but couldn't support any neighborhood “being disturbed through the night and morning and a peaceful protest devolving into unacceptable conduct in which residents are being harassed and threatened."

"This crosses a line that cannot be allowed to continue," he said.

The Tribune-Review reported that a protest group that grew from about 150 to more than 300 people Tuesday night marched to Peduto's home and some stayed into the early morning, with the few remaining all night sounding sirens and chanting.

The demonstration stemmed from the arrest of a protester during a march over the weekend that drew condemnation from the American Civil Liberties Union and others. The mayor said Sunday that he had “serious concerns" about the tactics and issued a stronger statement Monday, saying he was “livid" at the images and “will never tolerate these tactics being used at peaceful protests again.”

Public safety officials said the protester was endangering the public and they opted for a “low visibility” arrest to avoid drawing a crowd and inflaming the situation.