PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A rookie Pittsburgh Police officer is suspended after video surfaced on social media, allegedly showing him arguing with a Swissvale Police officer.
The encounter between the probationary Pittsburgh officer and the Swissvale officer took place on Oct. 18, on Milligan Avenue, just blocks from the Swissvale Police Station.
Pittsburgh Police Officer Sidney Bates, who was off-duty, was approached by the unidentified, female Swissvale officer, who asked to see his identification.
Bates’ brother, Laimon, said he, his girlfriend and his brother had pulled up in front of their Swissvale home, where parking is difficult to find. Laimon said the incident lasted only a couple of minutes, and they were merely trying to get groceries out of the car.
Laimon’s cell phone camera recorded the encounter.
Laimon: “What did he do?”
Swissvale Officer: “He stopped in the middle of the roadway, and she was stopped in the middle of the roadway.”
Laimon: “He wasn’t even in the car. It was her.”
Swissvale Officer: “She was parked right here, and he’s parked right here.”
Laimon: “Now he is because you stopped him. You bleeped him, you bleeped him.”
Swissvale Officer: “He’s parked right here, I told him to move.”
Bates is now on probation. He was sworn in as an officer last spring.
But, now, he’s been put on administrative leave, pending completion of an internal investigation into the Swissvale confrontation.
“It has been investigated by the police chief and the Public Safety director, and there will be action taking place within the next 72 hours,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said.
The head of the independent Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board believes Bates actions were inappropriate.
“This individual [Officer Bates], as a police officer, should have known better. He should have recognized a Swissvale police officer was coming onto the scene. If he were in the same position, how would he have handled it? He would be asking for people’s ID,” Elizabeth Pittinger, of the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board, said.