Over 20 cars gathered on Tuesday for an in-car protest, advocating on behalf of inmates at Allegheny County Jail. Organized by the Dignity Act of PA collective, the protest called for releasing inmates, specifically Black mothers, and for the end of cash bail.
The protest began in the parking lot of the former Shop 'n Save in the Hill District, before the cars made their way to Downtown, stopping in front of Allegheny County Jail.
"We talk on the news about how we want to flatten the curve and get rid of this coronavirus," said Dignity Act organizer Melannie Taylor before the protest. "But the numbers in the jails are going up."
As of May 12, the jail has reported 28 positive cases of COVID-19 among its inmates. Four employees of the jail have tested positive. Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in Pennsylvania, the jail has release hundreds of inmates with nonviolent charges or who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
Protesters taped signs to their cars and wrote messages on their windows with markers that said "Free Black Mamas" and "Free Them All."
Only a few organizers left their vehicles, shouting "end cash bail" while getting the attention of inmates through their cell windows. Pittsburgh Police soon showed up, telling the protestors they'd cite every vehicle blocking traffic. At least one driver gave their license and registration to an officer while other vehicles had their license plates recorded by the police.
Another protest at advocating for the release of inmates at the jail occurred on April 15.