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City Of Pittsburgh Clears Officer in 2014 Pridefest Assault
The Following Statement was released minutes ago regarding this June 2014 incident. When asked for copies of these reports, pictures and videos, I was told the reports are not going to be released and are for OMI (internalt affairs) use only. Ariel Lawther, the woman arrested and assaulted by the officer declined comment but referred me to her lawyer who was unavailable when I called. (Left a message)
STATEMENT BY CITY SOLICITOR LOURDES SANCHEZ-RIDGE ON FINDINGS IN PRIDEFEST PARADE ARREST
PITTSBURGH, PA - “The city promised a fair and thorough investigation of a June 15arrest at the PrideFest parade. That investigation is now completed, and a final report by the Office of Municipal Investigations, including an analysis completed by an independent consultant, has determined that the officer involved did not use excessive force.
This administration is dedicated to objectivity, and objective reviews of the entirety of the evidence may not always reveal what one video, one photograph, or one statement might reveal alone. While OMI exonerated the officer in this case, it also obtained an independent third-party use of force review by an outside agency that arrived at the same conclusion. It will be city policy from this point forward to seek third-party analysis in all excessive force investigations, just as we did in this case.
Under city law, it is the responsibility of OMI to investigate allegations of employee misconduct, including allegations of police misconduct, and provide the results of their investigations to city leaders.
In this case, city investigators reviewed police procedures on excessive force, continuum of control levels, and levels of subject action/resistance; interviewed the officer and his supervisors; interviewed witnesses including a friend of the complainant, parade-goers, parade protesters, and workers at facilities near the incident; and also reviewed a wide range of photographs and video of the incident.
The officer involved in the incident is back on duty. The OMI report has been forwarded to the Public Safety Director for further review and analysis. Upon the arrival of new Police Chief Cameron McLay, the city will complete an evaluation of its training procedures, so that we can learn from this incident and adopt and implement best practices in handling similar situations in the future."
The Continuum of Force excuse was also used in the Jordan Miles Case