Reporting Harold Hayes
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The video of a man falling down at the hands of a Pittsburgh Police officer is now under investigation, but the mayor believes he should be fired.
The incident happened Saturday at South Side Works.
The man who shot the video told KDKA the officer used his Taser on the man for no reason, but the officer in the video says that’s not true.
Det. Frank Rende told KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin that he pushed the man to the ground by his shoulder, but was willing to have his Taser tested to prove he didn’t use it. Several other police sources also confirm that Rende did not engage his Taser.
- WATCH: Officer takes down man on South Side:
On Monday, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said that Det. Rende should be fired for his actions.
“At first glance, for me, completely unacceptable, flat out wrong. I’m not an expert on procedures and policies, but I can tell you that I’m sure they were all violated in that case. To have an officer literally chase down the individual and use force like he did is just something that will not be tolerated and not accepted. Again, I want to give the public safety director and the chief the benefit of a conversation, but at this point, I see no reason that this individual should not be terminated,” Ravenstahl said.
Rende said he was surprised by Ravenstahl’s statement.
The mayor does have the authority to fire Rende, but sources close to the investigation said that the action would not hold up in court — that Saturday’s incident is not a fire-able offense.
“We need to make sure that our police officers know that they need to be beyond reproach and doing what they should be doing and protecting the people and upholding the oath that they took when they became a police officer,” Ravenstahl said.
Sources say Rende can not be fired today, but can be placed on suspension pending investigation.
Rende was off Monday, but says he plans on being back at work Tuesday.
- Listen to Beth Pittinger with the Police Review Board on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA: