PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Two Pittsburgh police officers, accused in the false arrests of two men earlier this year, appeared in court this morning.
In July, the officers busted two suspected drug dealers on Pittsburgh’s North Side. However, the Allegheny County District Attorney said today that there was not a drug deal going down.
According to the DA, surveillance video shows police officer Kenneth Simon, 49, reaching into the pocket of one of the men and taking what appeared to be a large wad of cash.
Simon was arraigned early this morning on felony perjury, misdemeanor theft, official oppression and unsworn falsification charges. He was released on his own recognizance.
Meanwhile, 58-year-old police officer Anthony Scarpine is being charged with four less serious crimes including – conspiracy, obstructing administration of law, unsworn falsification and official oppression.
Because of the arrests, the DA will now “review any case in which Simon and Scarpine served as the sole witness. There is no time frame on when that review will be completed.”
The case follows a series of complaints from defense attorneys who say that police were “rousting” known or suspected drug dealers without probable cause, and then accusing them of trafficking if they discovered drugs.
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Chef Nate Harper said in a statement: “Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Officers Kenneth Simon and Anthony Scarpine have been placed on Administrative Leave pending disciplinary action which may result in suspension and/or termination.
“This is an isolated incident and should not reflect on the other Officers within the Bureau. Once this incident was brought to the attention of the Commander, the Officers were immediately removed from patrol and placed on administrative assignment.”