With its August recess looming, Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday tackled a handful of bills that would change the police department's budget and some of its policies -- a legislative response to nationwide protests following police killings of unarmed Black people.
With some states taking a fresh look at strengthening measures to hold police officers accountable, lawmakers in Pennsylvania are being urged to join states that make police department records of officer discipline accessible to the public.
As protests nationwide and across Western Pennsylvania call out police brutality, a collective of activists on Monday presented their list of demands for police reform to city and Allegheny County officials. Among their demands: Reduce a years-long trend of increased police spending.
As the House Judiciary Committee considered police reform legislation Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler spoke out against defunding police departments -- and quickly received a correction from a Democratic colleague who wrote the bill being discussed. An amendment he proposed calling for an investigation of the "antifa" movement also went over poorly.
One week after Black Democratic lawmakers protested on the House floor, temporarily preventing the regular session from beginning, a Republican-led House committee unanimously passed two police reform bills.
A group of Democratic representatives took over the Pennsylvania House floor early Monday afternoon, preventing the scheduled session from beginning. Displaying a “Black Lives Matter” banner next to the speaker’s podium, a series of legislators delivered remarks demanding that the House consider police reform legislation.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said Thursday he will wait for the results of two investigations before drawing conclusions about why and how police broke up a protest in East Liberty Monday. In the meantime, he vowed to adopt new police reforms — a pledge that received a tepid response from some local black activists, who said the city must go farther.