Video captures violent arrest near Pittsburgh's PPG Paints Arena
Mayor Bill Peduto announced Wednesday night a Pittsburgh Police officer has been placed on desk duty during an internal investigation after video captured by a bystander Tuesday night appears to show a city officer raining down punches on a man during an Uptown arrest.
"Officer Andrew Jacobs has been placed on desk duty pending the outcome of the reviews," Peduto said in a press release posted on the city's website. "Our police officers are trained to de-escalate situations. This is part of the protocol of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. We have zero tolerance for deviation to that standard."
'Officer Andrew Jacobs has been placed on desk duty pending the outcome of the reviews'... https://t.co/EYP5Z85OSN— bill peduto (@billpeduto) September 20, 2017
The footage shows the arrest of David Jones, 34, and Daniel Adelman, 47, outside PPG Paints Arena, according to Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler.
Toler said Jones, wanted on a warrant out of Butler County on forgery charges, had previously run from police. Officers spotted him about 10:45 p.m. near Lemieux Place and Centre Avenue, she said.
Toler said officers were taking Jones into custody when Adelman of Ravenna, Ohio, tried to interfere.
The video shows an officer kneeling over Adelman, who is on his hands and knees, and punching him repeatedly. The officer repositions and continues throwing punches. Another officer appears to grab Adelman's arms in an attempt to force him into a prone position.
An officer shouts for the man to stop resisting, and one yells for another to deploy his Taser.
Toler said Adelman was charged with obstruction, resisting arrest and public drunkenness and taken to Allegheny County Jail.
Two officers were working an approved plainclothes detail, two were working a secondary detail and one was on duty, Toler said.
Pittsburgh police Chief Scott Schubert said in a statement that the bureau's "management of use of force includes an automatic review of every incident in which force is used when making an arrest. In addition, we have initiated a review that is being conducted by our Office of Professional Standards so that we can ensure that the use of force was objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers."
The Office of Municipal Investigations, which investigates complaints of misconduct against any city government employee, is also reviewing the incident.
"At the end of our process, we intend to publicly share the results," Schubert said.
The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office is also taking a closer look.
"Our office has requested additional information from the city regarding this arrest," DA's spokesman Mike Manko said. "In accordance with long established protocols regarding use of force matters, the effectuation of this arrest is under review."
Elizabeth Pittinger, director of the independent Citizens Police Review Board, said her office has also opened an investigation into the incident.
"Certainly the overall issue of the use of force will take some time to sort out," Pittinger said. "It's never pleasant to look at violence, and police violence is sometimes necessary."
She said what will stay with the public — regardless whether the use of force was necessary – is the language the officers used.
"By definition, it's unbecoming conduct," she said. "It casts a very unfortunate shadow on the bureau of police. It's unprofessional. … It's certainly not conduct of a professional police officer."
Joce Smith, who posted the video to her Facebook page, said the footage was taken by her cousin, who does not use social media. The video had been viewed more than 70,000 times as of late Wednesday afternoon.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @meganguzaTrib. Staff writer Emily Balser contributed to this report.