Police take an individual into custody on Liberty Avenue Wednesday
Updated: 3:40 p.m.: Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay released a statement Thursday saying “As a result of complaints received, there will be an investigation into the conduct of Police Bureau members.” However McLay added that: “Video was released showing a chaotic scene with officers acting in an apparent attempt to clear the roadway and to disperse the crowd in order to prevent further disturbances.
“On first examination, the video provided shows no evidence of serious police misconduct. The matter will be investigated by Police Zone 2 command and the Office of Municipal Investigations, to address questions raised about officer conduct.”
The full release is below:
PITTSBURGH, PA – The following is a statement from Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Chief Cameron McLay:
Pittsburgh Police responded to assist Port Authority Police with a large juvenile disturbance at the Wood Street T-Station at approximately 3:30 p.m. yesterday. As a result of complaints received, there will be an investigation into the conduct of Police Bureau members.
Video was released showing a chaotic scene with officers acting in an apparent attempt to clear the roadway and to disperse the crowd in order to prevent further disturbances.
On first examination, the video provided shows no evidence of serious police misconduct. The matter will be investigated by Police Zone 2 command and the Office of Municipal Investigations, to address questions raised about officer conduct.
During tense times such as these, it can be challenging for officers to maintain professional decorum, but doing so is an expectation of our profession. Training, counseling or discipline will occur as the need is indentified during these reviews.
Original Post: More details are emerging about the incident that occurred inside the Wood Street T Station Wednesday afternoon when two Port Authority Police Officers allegedly witnessed a juvenile male pressing the emergency shut-off button of an escalator at the Wood Street T station, Downtown. The aftermath of that one alleged action, led to the apprehension and arrest of a juvenile, an adult and the citation of three additional juveniles.
During the incident, crowds formed in the surrounding sidewalks, and the intensity of the scene escalated as police officers from Pittsburgh Police, Port Authority Police and the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office attempted to disperse the gathering crowds. A video taken by City Paper shows one suspect being taken into custody, followed by an incident between a Pittsburgh Police officer and a CP reporter, with the officer brandishing his baton and yelling, "Make sure you get it all on your tape, big boy, with your telephone." The Pittsburgh Citizens Police Review Board has opened an inquiry into the officer’s interaction with the reporter.
Here's what has been learned, so far, about the initial incident:
At approximately 3:17 p.m., two PAT police officers allegedly witnessed a male juvenile pressing the emergency shut-off buttons of an escalator inside the Wood Street T station, according to PAT spokesperson Adam Brandolph.
The two officers approached the juvenile and requested to see his identification. He allegedly refused and then “pulled away from the officers” and “attempted to run away,” says Brandolph.
Then the juvenile was apprehended, and he allegedly kicked the two officers during the arrest. While this juvenile was being placed in the squad car, at least one juvenile was throwing rocks at the police, according to Brandolph.
Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen says that seven of his officers responded to calls for back up from the PAT, with the PAT saying that bricks and bottles were thrown. Brandolph says that according to the report, rocks were thrown, not bricks or bottles.
One of the juveniles was taken to Shuman Juvenile Detention Center, and Brandolph says that juvenile was the one who allegedly hit an escalator’s emergency off button.
After this arrest, a 19-year-old male, Haji Muzhimu was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and obstructing public passages. Brandolph says the PAT police report alleges that “he failed to vacate the area and continued to occupy the area while yelling and screaming.” According to a criminal court search of Muzhimu, he has no prior arrests.
An additional three juveniles were apprehended and cited. Two were cited with trespassing, and one was cited with disorderly conduct. It was not confirmed by Brandolph who the individual in the CP video was or what he was charged with.
Brandolph says that there is video footage of the incident from cameras in the Wood Street T station that is currently being examined by PAT police. Those videos have not been made public, nor would he say if they would be.