PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two alleged cases of police brutality are now under review by the Pittsburgh Office of Municipal Investigation. And, at least one of them has also caught the attention of the FBI.
So, is the police bureau in for even more scrutiny in the days ahead?
“It’s very unsettling, it’s unpleasant, and it almost looks like [the police department] is totally out of control.”
That’s how Elizabeth Pittinger, the head of the Citizens Police Review Board, sizes up the latest developments involving Pittsburgh Police.
The Review Board investigates public complaints about improper police conduct.
Negative publicity involving officers has been in the news almost daily.
Pittinger told KDKA-TV News: “It’s unbecoming of the department; seems like everywhere you look, there’s conduct undermining public confidence in the department.”
The FBI says it’s begun looking into an incident on the South Side when a police detective, Frank Rende, used expletives and placed a stun gun – which wasn’t fired – against the neck of a man who was arrested for public drunkenness.
A second incident, involving an officer at Station Square, which also took place this past weekend, is now under the scrutiny of the Pittsburgh Office of Municipal Investigations, too.
Pittinger said she would not be surprised to see another federal consent decree in Pittsburgh after hearing that the FBI is investigating the Rende incident.
Pittsburgh police worked under a federal consent decree back in the 1990s to improve discipline after a lawsuit was filed alleging police brutality.