PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — State police in Pittsburgh are answering charges that a trooper used a racial slur against a man he pulled over.
The alleged incident happened in the “bathtub” section of the Parkway East.
There are two widely different accounts of what happened, but both sides agree Valdez Thompson was pulled over by a state trooper.
KDKA’s Jon Greiner spoke to the commander of the barracks.
On Friday afternoon, Thompson says he was pulled over by an unmarked car’s flashing lights. He says a person in plain clothes called him the N-word and stuck a gun in his mouth.
State police say no gun was pulled and Thompson was stopped for traffic violations. The stop was called in and he was told he’d be receiving citations in the mail.
The driver says that’s not the way he remembers it.
“No sir, no sir. I didn’t hear anything of the sort,” Thompson said. “I didn’t even know that this guy was an officer. I’m still shocked that this guy is a state trooper as I found out.”
State police say Thompson refused to write out his complaints. A victim statement wasn’t given.
Thompson, a published author and poet, could have written out a statement, but thought it would do no good.
“Well you [got to] understand I’m just a black man against a giant blue line,” he said.
State police say if there were witnesses, they don’t know about them because they got no phone calls.
With regard to that, the barracks commander told KDKA’s Jon Greiner that in this busy part of the parkway, they normally get calls if someone loses a hubcap, so he thought it was at least unusual that no one called to report a man in plain clothes holding a gun on another man.
Thompson says he won’t pursue it.
“That trooper, he obviously had a bad day and you know he chose to take it out on me,” he said.
“That happens sometimes, I forgive him.”
State police say the incident will be investigated thorough with respect to possible trooper misconduct.
State police say the trooper is a detective who normally doesn’t carry traffic citations so he couldn’t give out tickets at the scene.
The say the incident was not recorded on a car camera and PennDOT cameras do not record, so there’s no video of the incident.
KDKA’s Jon Greiner reports the trooper in question has no previous such complaints against him.
Man Claims Trooper Assaulted Him On Parkway East