PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A man seen falling down in an online video after a Pittsburgh officer put a stun gun to his neck had been ordered to stand trial on charges of public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and defiant trespass in the incident.
Twenty-seven-year-old Mark Keyser Jr., of Ross, says he plans to fight the charges, and claims he was already complying with Detective Frank Rende’s order to leave a bar on March 16 when Rende walked after him.
Rende testified at a preliminary hearing Thursday that he threatened to use the stun gun on Keyser, but didn’t before Keyser nonetheless “flopped” to the ground when Rende touched him with the device. Police officials claim an examination of the device shows it was never fired.
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Shortly after the incident happened, Rende told KDKA’s Marty Griffin that only pushed Keyser down by his shoulders.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl called for Rende’s firing last month after seeing the footage.
“At first glance, for me, completely unacceptable, flat out wrong,” Ravenstahl said March 18. “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.”
The FBI has said it is reviewing Rende’s handling of the incident, but he’s denied wrongdoing.
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