Office of Mayor William Peduto
Transcript of Press Conference on Arrest During Pride Fest Parade

PITTSBURGH, PA (June 16, 2014) -  Mayor William Peduto: I wanted to take a few minutes to go through yesterday’s incident at the Pride parade and what the city is doing. I just want to reassure the people that this is a new day, we won’t look the other way when incidents like this happen. And we want to assure everybody -- and that includes both the public and the police -- that we want fairness. And we will work diligently to make sure that justice is not delayed and that we will be able to proceed over the next month to find out exactly what happened, and to take the proper action.

Acting Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar: I was hired to come in here and bring objectivity and fairness to the Department of Public Safety and do a thorough review based on my background. This is the first part of that. All of these types of incidents will be reviewed and investigated very fairly and objectively without any predisposition on either side. This incident has been referred to our Office of Municipal Investigation for review. There is a process in place that triggers that in these type of incidents. We will do a thorough investigation and review, and wherever that takes us it will guide our judgement in those matters. Generally speaking these type of incidents, from this day forward while I’m in charge, will be fair and objectively reviewed in all cases.

Q: Mayor, from what you have seen on the video and I’m assuming you have read the incident report/the arrest report, do you believe excessive force was used in this incident?

Mayor Peduto: We’re going to be actually asking for additional video -- there should be an opportunity for us to be able to see the entire incident, and not just that one clip, to find out what happened. There are professional standards on the escalation of force and we want to make sure what happened falls within the standards, and not rush to judgement until such time that we can see exactly what happened. We should be able to get additional video -- the Chief is already working through investigations to be able to do that. The officer has been taken off the street and will remain off the street for the next 30 days. He has been suspended from any other outside duties while the investigation continues.

Q: Does that mean he’s in the warrant office?

Mayor Peduto: That’s correct.

Q: But based on what you saw, and you read the officer’s account -- he’s claiming the woman pushed him and kicked him in the groin repeatedly -- would that warrant a justification as to what you saw in the video?

Mayor Peduto: What I saw in the video was a clip. Like I said earlier I want to remain fair both to the officers and to the public. We will not delay this investigation, but I will not make any judgement until such time that OMI has had the opportunity to fully investigate. Let me state this too: the call for an OMI investigation came both from the Chief and from the Solicitor.

Q: Do we know what the original fight was about between the young woman and a man? Was it related to the Pride parade or what was it about?

Mayor: Under the report from the night commander the incident started with comments from some of the folks who had gathered to oppose the parade, and at that point escalated.

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Published:
Monday, June 16, 2014
Contacts
Timothy McNulty
Communications Manager
City of Pittsburgh
Cell: 412-660-1999
Email

Sonya Toler
Public Information Officer
City of Pittsburgh
Cell: 412-627-3552
Email

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