Use Of Force

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus on Wednesday reiterated their desire to change Pennsylvania’s police use-of-force law. 

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

More than three weeks after former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld was acquitted in the shooting death of Antwon Rose, local activists are stepping up demands for police reform.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

There has been renewed interest in police-community relations since the fatal shooting of Antwon Rose last month. Nearly 20 Democratic state lawmakers gathered in Wilkinsburg Tuesday for a three-hour hearing on the topic. They discussed a range of issues such as police use of force, diversity education for officers and how to increase public oversight of law enforcement.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A Pittsburgh police officer is under investigation for using a taser on a downtown pizza shop employee allegedly as a joke in October.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Police have endured harsh public scrutiny over use of force cases, but prosecutors have also taken heat for choosing not to pursue cases when civilians are shot by police.

On this week’s episode of 90.5 WESA’s Criminal Injustice podcast, University of Pittsburgh law professor and host David Harris talks to David LaBahn, president and CEO of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, a national association representing elected and appointed prosecutors.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Cliff Owen / AP

 

It’s been less than a week since U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Upper St. Clair) announced he’s resigning from Congress, and the field for a special election to fill his seat is already highly contested. Murphy was forced to resign amid revelations of an extramarital affair in which the anti-abortion lawmaker allegedly urged his mistress to get an abortion.

Nyttend / Wikimedia Commons

A jury did not reach a verdict in Leon Ford’s federal case against two Pittsburgh police officers Wednesday and will return for more deliberations Thursday.

Ford is suing officers David Derbish and Andrew Miller in federal civil court for a 2012 shooting that left him paralyzed. Derbish faces an allegation of excessive force, and Miller is accused of assault and battery.

An-Li Herring

A jury began deliberations in Leon Ford’s federal civil trial against two Pittsburgh police officers following closing arguments Tuesday. The jury could deliver its verdict any day.

Chicago Police Department / AP

Police misconduct can do a lot of damage -- inciting fear or upsetting the public trust that officers need to do their jobs, especially when their actions affect primarily people of color.

Colleen Long / AP

Police killings of unarmed black men, stop-and-frisk policies and racially disproportionate prison populations have all been called symptoms of a broken criminal justice system.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

*UPDATED: Sept. 22, 2017 at 2:54 p.m.

 

The lawyer for the Ohio man who was beaten by a Pittsburgh police officer outside PPG Paints Arena late Tuesday night declined to say whether his client, Daniel Adelman will sue for excessive use of force. A bystander caught the confrontation in a video that has been widely shared on social media.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said he’s considering filing charges against Pittsburgh Police officer Raymond Toomey in connection with a violent arrest Sunday outside The Flats bar on Carson Street in the South Side.

Chicago Police Department / AP

The last few years have exposed major problems in policing: use of force, high-tech surveillance and a systemic lack of transparency. Some police tactics have even been called undemocratic, because the public isn’t involved on the front end.

A fired Pittsburgh police sergeant accused of wrongly pushing and punching a drunken man at Heinz Field and then lying about it says he's fighting the criminal case against him.

Ex-sergeant Stephen Matakovich has been indicted by a federal grand jury. He's appealing his firing.

Defense attorney Blaine Jones said Wednesday they're prepared to fight the case wherever they need to fight it.

The police chief and the public safety director agreed to fire the 22-year veteran for using what was deemed to be "unreasonable" force during the arrest in November.

Tony Webster / Flickr

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay stressed restraint to fellow officers in an internal memo distributed Wednesday that outlined a bureau review of firearms policies related to moving vehicles.