Pittsburgh Officials Comment On Recent Police Use Of Force Report

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Police face a battleground every day. Cellphone video often portrays them in a less than flattering light.

But a new report on Pittsburgh cops shows the use of force by police over the past five years has declined. Mayor Bill Peduto says other statistics confirm it.

“We’re noticing less and less, either complaints or legal action being taken against the city for the use of force,” he says.

The use of force report shows a 16 percent decline in the use of force between 2010 and 2015. It finds that one in 10 arrests result in the use of force.

One in three of those use of force arrests resulted in injuries.

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The head of the Pittsburgh Citizens Police Review Board, Beth Pittinger, gives the department credit for releasing the numbers. But she says the reduction in force doesn’t correspond with the reduction in crime.

“It suggests that there’s a little bit of an increase in the use of force when compared to the number of arrests,” she says.

That’s not the only issue with the report. The use of force appears to be concentrated in the black community.

“What we see is a higher proportion of African American males, who are involve in the escalation of force incidents than with any other population, much more significant,” Peduto says.


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