George Floyd Pittsburgh Protests

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

Charges against two dozen protesters from last summer's demonstrations against police brutality are being refiled, but Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala disagree about the circumstances for that move.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Attorneys for the family of a man killed by Wilkinsburg Police have filed a federal lawsuit citing excessive force. Romir Talley was fatally shot by Wilkinsburg Police officer Robert Gowans in December 2019.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, also includes claims of unreasonable seizure and improper training of officers by the police department.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Most of the more than two dozen charges against activist Lorenzo Rulli, stemming from six racial justice protests in Pittsburgh this year, will proceed to trial. Rulli appeared in Pittsburgh Municipal Court Friday.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Three local activists are heading to trial to face charges in connection with a June protest at 941 Saloon downtown. The majority of charges against Dena Stanley, Nique Craft and Christian Carter were held for trial at a preliminary hearing Friday.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Criminal defense lawyer Giuseppe Rosselli was confused when his client, George Allen, didn’t show up for a court date in late July. They had texted about the hearing moments earlier.

$1M Bail Set For Lancaster Police Shooting Demonstrators

Sep 15, 2020
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Thirteen people who are accused of committing crimes while participating in a civil disturbance in Lancaster on Sunday night sat behind bars Tuesday, with bail for seven of them set at $1 million.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Cheers, chants and tears filled the streets of Pittsburgh’s East End neighborhoods Saturday as the group Black, Young and Educated made their final collective in-person push for changes to Pennsylvania’s police use of force law.

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Footage of a weekend protest in Downtown Pittsburgh went viral—and now President Donald Trump has spoken out about the incident, calling protesters “anarchists” and “thugs.”  

Republican DA Who Supported George Floyd Protesters Censured By Local GOP

Aug 27, 2020
Jeffrey Stockbridge / Keystone Crossroads

Nearly three months after a Republican district attorney in a largely rural part of Pennsylvania lent support to the Black Lives Matter movement in a message to his constituents, the local GOP has publicly denounced him.

Julia Zenkevich / 90.5 wESA


On today's program: Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto ordered changes to how police respond to protesters; and the election is less than three months away, but Pennsylvania is still litigating mail-in voting.

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

One week after a cyclist was arrested during a Civil Saturdays protest, hundreds marched through East Liberty with little interference from police.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

Prominent local activist Lorenzo Rulli was arrested late Friday evening, near the Point Breeze home of Mayor Bill Peduto. 

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto announced changes to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police’s protest policy on Friday afternoon, following a week of confrontations between police and demonstrators.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Members of Black, Young, and Educated said on Monday that the recent arrest of a Black Lives Matter protester was part of an effort by Pittsburgh police to silence demonstrators. And they said the tactics officers used to make the Saturday arrest belie statements by city officials that safety is their top priority in monitoring protests.

Marylee Williams / 90.5 WESA

Activists and elected officials say they want answers about the arrest of a protester Saturday during a peaceful and regularly scheduled Black Lives Matter demonstration. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The death of George Floyd in Minnesota this past May sparked conversations about racial justice around the county. Some of the dialog has centered around systemic racism in institutions like housing.


The current civil rights movement has been an emotionally and intellectually taxing experience for many Black Americans who are confronting injustices that stretch back generations.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

“A matter of life and death.” That was the message demonstrators conveyed Friday afternoon during a march and rally through downtown for non-discrimination protections of LGBTQ people.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Vice President Mike Pence was in Westmoreland County Thursday at a “Cops for Trump” event. He greeted a crowd of supporters outside the police station in Greensburg, most of whom weren’t wearing masks or social distancing.

Ariel Worthy / 90.5 WESA

In the last week, Pittsburgh police have charged several leaders of local ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests. Those charged include Christian Carter, Nique Craft and Dena Stanley.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Voters in the city of Pittsburgh will get to decide in November whether to give the Citizen Police Review Board more power. After a series of amendments, CPRB Executive Director Beth Pittinger says this referendum, if passed, could give the board more power.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The "Black Lives Matter" protests that have shut down Pittsburgh city streets every week for the past two months are led by a new generation of activists. Two organizers of the "Civil Saturday" demonstrations, Nick Anglin and Treasure Palmer, say their path to protesting started with feeling alienated as young Black people in the Pittsburgh area.

David Zalubowski / AP

Despite mitigation efforts by the county to bring down surging coronavirus cases in Pittsburgh, new cases continued to be tallied in the triple digits this week. Officials blame a testing backlog for Tuesday’s record-setting 331 new reported cases

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Council on Tuesday rejected two measures that Democrats Liv Bennett and Bethany Hallam proposed in response to Black Lives Matter protests and the coronavirus pandemic. But in a unanimous vote, council approved an ordinance aimed at protecting transgender people from discrimination in health care settings.

Some Police Departments Say Publicizing Use-Of-Force Policies Builds Trust. Others Disagree

Jul 7, 2020
Ed Mahon / PA Post

In an attempt to assuage the public’s demands for increased accountability of police officers, a spattering of departments across Pennsylvania post their use-of-force policies to their websites, making public the rules for when officers can use pepper spray, strike someone or fire their gun.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

 On today's program: Black, Young and Educated is organizing some of Pittsburgh’s biggest protests against racism and police brutality; a new proposed ordinance could prohibit tear gas, bean bag rounds, and some other crowd dispersal methods in Allegheny County; and architect David Lewis leaves a lasting legacy in Pittsburgh. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A Ross Township Police officer’s social-media activity is under investigation, and a personal Facebook page has been taken down after 90.5 WESA called township officials about posts that mocked protesters, including one that joked about running over them.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA


On today's program: Mayor Bill Peduto discusses racism and policing in Pittsburgh; and the Hot Club of Pittsburgh introduces listeners to the wonders of jazz from the '20s and '30s. 

Kiley Koscinski / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County has reported record high numbers of new COVID-19 cases over the past week. On Thursday, the region broke 200 for the first time. The people infected are skewing younger and public health officials say many of them spent time in bars and restaurants or traveled out of state.