Police Officers Reassigned, Other Bureau Changes Made In Wake Of Kopy's Bar Incident

Jul 9, 2019

Nine months after a bar fight involving undercover Pittsburgh police officers, the city has announced changes within the Bureau of Police's Narcotics and Vice Division.

In October, four undercover officers brawled with members of the Pagans motorcycle club at Kopy's Bar on the South Side. Four Pagans members involved in the fight filed suit against the city of Pittsburgh, alleging civil rights violations and that the officers were drunk when the incident occured. These Pagans were charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy and riot following the incident, though Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala dropped those charges.

The incident was investigated by the U.S. Attorney, the District Attorney and the city, but no charges were filed against the detectives. 

The city said in a statement the four officers involved will be staying on the force, but will be reassigned to other positions within the Bureau. 

The Narcotics and Vice Division has a new leader, Commander Jason Lando, and the city said new guidelines have been implemented for undercover work.

Previous reporting by WESA found the Pittsburgh Police Bureau had no formal policy for undercover officers drinking on the job. A Public Safety spokesperson declined to comment on whether the new guidelines include rules on drinking while undercover.