PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Eleven people accused in violent protests outside of the Allegheny County Jail were supposed to go before a Magistrate Judge Tuesday.
“There are some very serious allegations, but there are some interesting civil rights here,” said attorney David Shrager, who represents James Griffin.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Reports 3,899 New Cases, 64 Additional Deaths
On April 4, the case was supposed to be heard at Pittsburgh Municipal Court, but was continued because of attorney scheduling conflicts.
“Obviously, there is going to be a lot of evidence the Commonwealth will seek to introduce in this matter, we have rescheduled everything,” said attorney Patrick Nightingale, who represents Tyler Kobel.
Now, the preliminary hearing will take place on Friday, April 28 at 8 a.m. in a separate courtroom from other scheduled cases.
While the charges for each defendant differ, all of the allegations stem from the same incident, the protest that turned into a riot outside of the Allegheny County Jail on Monday, March 20.READ MORE: Somerset County District Attorney Jeffrey Thomas Faces New Charges
According to Pittsburgh Police, the protesters were setting off fireworks, breaking windows and glass panels, and hurling rocks at the building.
The two facing the most serious charges are Griffin and Kobel, both 25. Their attorneys could not speak to the facts of the case, but said they believe the protests were at least partly about conditions in the Allegheny County Jail.
“It’s not the Holiday Inn or the Ritz-Carlton. But it is, compared to other jails in our country, quite nice. But at the same time, no one wants to be there,” said Shrager. “I can speak from my perspective of visiting jails, and I find it to be a very inhumane process to lock people in cages for anything but our most serious and violent offense,” said Nightingale.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Reports 219 New Cases, 1 Additional Death
All of the defendants are out on bail.