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Man sues police, claims officer allowed shooting

| Wednesday, July 3, 2002, 12:00 p.m.

A West End man sued the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in federal court Tuesday, claiming a police officer watched a man shoot him because the officer did not want to intervene in a feud between two black men.

In his lawsuit, John Jones, of Crucible Street, said a city police officer sat in his cruiser at 4 a.m. May 24 and watched as he scuffled with Ricky Williams in front of his residence. Jones said he yelled to the officer that Williams had a gun. Williams then ran a short distance, turned around and shot Jones in a knee.

The officer, identified only as Davis, remained in his car and did not pursue Williams, the lawsuit said.

Jones said police also failed to investigate his claims that Rosetta Williams and Ricky Williams, who live together on Crucible Street, burglarized and ransacked his home on two separate occasions days earlier. The lawsuit does not give the Williamses' relationship.

Jones said he told an officer, identified only as Klein, that the Williamses broke into his home but that no investigation was initiated.

Ricky Williams is still at large and has threatened to kill Jones and his family members, the lawsuit said.

Pittsburgh police Chief Robert W. McNeilly Jr. said he has not seen the lawsuit and could not comment yesterday.

The lawsuit comes as federal and city officials are negotiating an end to federal oversight of the police bureau. The bureau has been under a consent decree since 1997 that requires a major overhaul of police practices.

The decree was spawned after civil rights and community groups, as well as dozens of people — most of whom are black — filed a federal lawsuit claiming that police brass and city officials have tolerated a pattern of police abuse.

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