PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Mayor Bill Peduto and Pittsburgh Police held a news conference late on Monday night to discuss the efforts to disperse a splinter group of protesters early on Monday in East Liberty.
During that news conference, police said that tear gas was not used and said they used smoke canisters to disperse that splinter group.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Police Lose 2nd Officer To COVID-19 In Past Month
However, according to a report from our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on Tuesday police did admit to using tear gas in parts of East Liberty.
Police said smoke canisters were used to disperse the crowd at Centre and Negley and that tear gas was used in other parts of East Liberty after repeated orders were given for the group to disperse.
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Small group that broke off from peaceful march broke windows and threw items at police at Centre and Negley. Officers issued several orders to disperse. Group ignored. Police used smoke and then gas to disperse group. https://t.co/gbnzbliIzk
— Pgh Public Safety (@PghPublicSafety) June 1, 2020
“I personally heard at least five orders given, in ample time, for people to disperse,” said Pittsburgh Police Commander Jason Lando at the Monday news conference. “Instead, people in the group continued to throw rocks at our officers and water bottles, and at that point in time, the tactical commander gave us the authorization to use smoke.”
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Police Citizens Review Board has launched an investigation into how these protests were handled by officers.MORE NEWS: West View Teen Accused Of Poisoning Parents
The review board wants to hear from protesters who were witnessed or were subjects of police violence.