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Mother's suit claims Pittsburgh fails to properly train undercover officers

| Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 4:48 p.m.

The mother of a North Side man claims in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday that Pittsburgh has failed to train its undercover officers in how to properly identify themselves during confrontations with the public.

Evelyn Marie C. Reese claims the lack of training is reponsible for Pittsburgh police officers Jeffrey John Abraham and Joseph P. Fabus shooting and killing her son, Lawrence Jones, 24, during a traffic stop on Brownsville Road near the border of Mt. Oliver and Knoxville. Abraham and Fabus weren't supposed to be conducting traffic stops while they were in civilian clothes and operating an unmarked car, the lawsuit says.

Reese is represented by Tim O'Brien and J. Kerrington Lewis, who are also the lawyers for Jordan Miles, 20, a Homewood man suing the city over an encounter with undercover police in an unmarked car.

Police said at the time of the shooting that Jones brandished a gun. The lawsuit says he was unarmed.

City solicitor Dan Regan said the city's review determined the officers acted reasonably, but he declined to comment on whether the city contends Jones had a gun.

“I'm reluctant at this point to discuss the specific facts,” he said.

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