PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police departments around the country are on alert following the killings of two New York City police officers over the weekend.
In Pittsburgh, police were put on high alert Sunday night.
They were put on alert after a threat was made. The threats were to kill law enforcement officials and “Caucasian civilians.”
The FBI issued an “intelligence product” referencing unspecified threats to Pittsburgh Police.
However, a different memo was sent to police officers across the region, saying “attention all law enforcement, we have received unsubstantiated information from field units advising that a group of individuals are travelling to the Pittsburgh Metro area to attempt to ambush officers who conduct traffic stops.”
The memo credits the FBI with the information.
However, Greg Heeb with the FBI told KDKA’s Marty Griffin he wasn’t aware of this memo.
“I have not seen that Marty, so I can’t really speak to much to that at this point,” he said, “I certainly will take a look into that now, but that is new information to me. That was not at all what we had when we pushed that intelligence product out.”
Later the FBI tracked the information, saying came from New York City police, who passed it along to the Pennsylvania State Police.
Currently there’s a lot of finger pointing. The FBI says it didn’t do it, Allegheny County says it did and one police source says the threat came from Twitter.
Authorities do say, however, the claims aren’t substantiated.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh residents have their own feelings about the situation.
“I refuse to live in fear,” East Liberty business owner Adam Wolfson said.
This is what several people in East Liberty’s business district said on Monday.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m walking with Jesus Christ on my shoulder. With that in mind, I’m going to go where he wants me to go, and do what he wants me to do. If I get shot in the process, so be it. It’s his will,” Lawrenceville resident Peg Derfler said.
These are strong words after an FBI alert came out this weekend. A trusted source told authorities about unspecified threats that were made towards Pittsburgh Police officers and white civilians.
The threats come after a violent weekend in New York where two NYPD officers were shot and killed as a retaliation for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. This is why Pittsburgh Police are stepping up their game.
“We have doubled our officers up and we advised them to be vigilant when they are responding to calls when they are stopping for lunch or a coffee break,” Pittsburgh Police Assistant Chief Maurita Bryant said.
Pittsburgh Police officials are also telling officers to call for backup if responding to high priority, suspicious calls.
Most people KDKA’s Amy Wadas spoke with today say they are in support of police.
“I appreciate the ones doing their job and doing it right. A lot more than the ones that aren’t,” one woman, who didn’t want to be identified, said.
Other people say they are not in support of police officers, but don’t want to see lives lost in the process.
“I’ve had a lot of negative interactions. I’m not concerned with police either but I’m kind of rolling my eyes with everything trying to get through my day,” Wolfson said.
“At the end of the day, they protect us. Regardless of what they did in another city or state, they protect us,” Shyanne Tipton of East Liberty said.
Pittsburgh Police have issued these demands until further notice.
Police are asking the community to show their support towards police by putting a blue light in their window.
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