PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pat Knepp, the Vice President of the Pittsburgh Fraternal Order of Police wrote a strongly worded statement to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and his Chief of Staff Dan Gilman.
The statement comes after Peduto and Gilman announced their support for police reform and in response to an investigation into whether or not officers used tear gas against protesters in East Liberty.
- Mayor Peduto Calls For Independent Investigations Into Disbursement Of Crowd At East Liberty Protest
- Mayor Peduto Discusses Police Reform Measures Following Protest In East Liberty
- City Of Pittsburgh Embracing ‘8 Can’t Wait’ Campaign Aimed At Reducing Police Violence
- ‘Anarchy’: Pittsburgh Police Union Chief Says City Was ‘Ill-Prepared’ And Understaffed For Downtown Riots
- Two Women Charged With Throwing Water Bottles At Police Officers In East Liberty
- Pittsburgh Police Announce Creation Of Task Force To Investigate Violent Protesters, Vandals, And Looters
“How does hurling frozen bottles of water, bricks, and IEDs made from fireworks bring justice? How does tagging or trashing businesses bring justice?” Knepp asked.
Knepp says that Peduto is ignoring the pain and injuries being inflicted upon officers.
“We have 11 officers injured so far,” Knepp said. “Multiple concussions, broken bones, cuts, and abrasions are the injuries…Mayor, if you want to know if people were hurling projectiles, look at the injury reports. Why would you believe anarchists hijacking a peaceful protest over a LT (lieutenant) with a solid employment record?”
The letter from Knepp also comes after the Pittsburgh Police Union Chief said that the city was ill-prepared for the protests that have been taking place over the past week.
Read the full letter below:
“As VP of FOP Ft Pitt Lodge #1 for the Pittsburgh Police, I want to let everyone know these protests involve some people not about justice for George Floyd.
How does hurling frozen bottles of water, bricks, and IEDs made from fireworks bring justice? How does tagging or trashing businesses bring justice?
We have 11 officers injured so far. Multiple concussions, broken bones, cuts, and abrasions are the injuries.
Mayor Peduto and his #2 Dan Gilman had a press conference yesterday to promote themselves politically with reforms, but never spoke about the officers injured or quelling the violence destroying our city. This action undermines our organization.
The reforms they announced have been implemented in the Pittsburgh Police since 2015! I was one of the people on the curriculum committee. I was one of the primary instructors, and the FOP president wrote the lesson plan with me and others input. Our curriculum was adopted by the state! It was recognized by those overseeing the national initiative.
Mayor Peduto and Dan Gilman how do you stand and announce initiatives already in place? How do you as democrats go after a union who helped address social justice under the Obama administration? The FOP helped implement social justice reforms in the Pittsburgh Police, and it appears you have omitted that fact. Why?
The mayor also inferred a Lt lied based on his interpretation of protestor videos. Mayor if you want to know if people were hurling projectiles look at injury reports. Why would you believe anarchists hijacking a peaceful protest over a LT with a solid employment record?
Both of you spoke about discipline, but never spoke about the process. I have sat there at arbitration and witnessed your own law department not present evidence. They were not prepared! Is the FOP the problem, or the law department?
I have served my country in the military, and I have fought, defended, saved, helped, and bled for citizens, and my fellow brothers and sisters of all races, religions, genders, and sexual preferences in Pittsburgh for 26 years. I have been injured and needed surgeries protecting the citizens of Pittsburgh. I have been recognized nationally for my actions. Mayor Peduto and Dan Gilman have you?
I, the VP of the FOP, ran back and forth during the Tree of Life mass shooting to keep you informed, but now you say we are the problem and accuse a member of lying. What gall!
You talk about unity and police sacrifice when monsters are stopped, but paint your own officers with a broad brush when officers in Minneapolis are charged with murder.
I learned as a 21-year-old Sergeant in the U.S Army a huge part of leadership is trust and accountability. I believe your actions currently have eroded those characteristics.
What happened in Minneapolis is tragic. The justice system is in gear, so why aren’t leaders asking people to come to the table instead of pointing fingers, assigning blame, and trashing communities? What happened to the actions of a few not defining the whole when talking about law enforcement?
Lastly, everyone is blaming police for social injustice, but where is the accountability of our elected officials?
Where is the blame for inadequate schools in minority communities? Where is the blame for lack of business in minority communities? Where is the blame for the increased delinquency leading to violence in minority communities?
Why arent people addressing gentrification with political people? Police officers can not change these issues, but elected officials blame cops for the poor / low socioeconomic issues.
Many newly elected politicians elected to help are failing constituents and blaming cops. Elitists in Hollywood and sports are doing the same. Pittsburgh Police will continue to work at becoming better while ensuring public safety. Will the elected officials?
Maybe instead of casting blame on easy targets elected officials might want to look in the mirror. Millionaire Elitists may want to infuse communities with investment funds instead of bailing out anarchist undermining peaceful protests.
Until then I ask all to help unite not divide. Bring elected officials to the table instead of violence to the streets. I, along with all my fellow officers, pray we overcome this ASAP. We hold the line for our citizens.”