PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Officials with the City of Pittsburgh say their investigation into the arrest of a young woman during the Pride Fest parade back in June has now been completed.
In a statement from the city solicitor, investigators say they have determined the officer involved did not use excessive force.READ MORE: Rural Hospitals Work To Decrease COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy
The statement reads in part:
“This administration is dedicated to objectivity, and objective reviews of the entirety of the evidence may not always reveal what one video, one photograph, or one statement might reveal alone. While OMI [the Office of Municipal Investigations] exonerated the officer in this case, it also obtained an independent third-party use of force review by an outside agency that arrived at the same conclusion. It will be city policy from this point forward to seek third-party analysis in all excessive force investigations, just as we did in this case.”
The incident happened along the parade route near the intersection of Sixth Street and Liberty Avenue back on June 15.
It was caught on cell phone video.
According to police, 19-year old Ariel Lawther got into a fight with somebody protesting the parade. Several people then began gathering around the area.
Officer Souroth Chatterji says he stepped in to stop the fight and Lawther began to punch him.READ MORE: UPMC Offering Outpatient Trial For Mild, Early COVID-19
The video then shows the officer grabbing her by the hair and punching her at least two times.
During the investigation, both the Fraternal Order of Police and Lawther’s lawyer released several photos of the confrontation.
The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh has released this statement on the case:
“We were saddened of the situation that occurred at Pittsburgh Pride Fest this past June. While the City has found there to be no wrong-doing by the officer involved in the incident, we believe that we need to put additional safeguards in place to prevent an incident like this from ever occurring again. The Foundation is in the process of retaining an independent safety and security consultant with experience in large-scale events. We have also enlisted the help of various local, state and Federal government agencies to assist us as well.”
Officials say the city officials investigating the case reviewed police procedures, as well as photos and video, and conducted several interviews with police, witnesses, parade-goers, protesters and workers.
The Office of Municipal Investigations report has now been sent to the city’s Public Safety director for further review.
Meanwhile, Officer Chatterji has returned to duty, the statement reports.MORE NEWS: The Natural Filtration System Movement: Rain Barrels Help You Conserve Water, And Keep Excess Water Out Of Storm Drains
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