Still Photograph Of Violent South Side Encounter Raises New Questions

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Multiple investigations continue in the case of Pittsburgh Police Officer Raymond Toomey who was involved in a violent confrontation with a man on the South Side earlier this month.

Now, KDKA-TV has obtained a photograph showing Nathan Stanley holding onto Officer Toomey’s collar moments before Stanley was held to the ground, kicked and punched, as another police officer has a foot on his back.

A passerby captured a short video of the confrontation on his cell phone outside The Flats bar on East Carson Street.

Officer Toomey wrote in his police report that he feared an attack by Stanley was imminent and believed the suspect had a gun.

The photo reportedly shows Stanley with one arm around a metal sign pole, and the other hand around Officer Toomey’s collar. A bouncer has Stanley in a neck-lock from behind.

Stanley’s attorney says the photo doesn’t change the dynamic of what took place.

Attorney Blaine Jones told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “Based on our very thorough investigation, based on work by my office, I am not moved or concerned in the slightest about the freeze-frame photograph.”

Officer Toomey’s official police report makes no mention of a weapon either found on or near him. Stanley was not charged with possession of a weapon.

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The Allegheny County District Attorney told reporters he needs more information before deciding on whether to file criminal charges against Officer Toomey. Jones says his client is still recovering from the confrontation.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala recently said, “I have a problem with somebody kicking somebody in the head, so we’re in the process, we gotta find a use of force expert outside the city.”

Besides the investigation by the DA’s Office, an internal police department investigation is underway. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI are also reviewing the incident.

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