PITTSBURGH/WILKINSBURG (KDKA) — Protesters once again took the streets on Saturday. This weekend marks 13 weeks of Civil Saturday demonstrations in Pittsburgh.
Today’s protest began around 3:00 p.m. at the intersection of Liberty Boulevard and Penn Avenue near Bakery Square.
The demonstrations follow a contentious week of arrests and police clashes in the city. Since last week, tensions between demonstrators and Pittsburgh officials, including Mayor Bill Peduto, have been steadily rising. Last Saturday, August 15, officers in plain clothes arrested protester Matthew Cartier and put him in a white, unmarked van. On August 15, Pittsburgh Police said it was a “low visibility” arrest and done for public safety, while Peduto said a few days later after reviewing the footage that the tactics would not be tolerated in the future.
Protesters have since marched several times on Peduto’s house, calling for change and demanding the mayor’s resignation. One of the protests lasted 15 hours last week, and two other demonstrations devolved into separate arrests of two protesters, Ian Frazier on Wednesday night and Lorenzo Rulli on Friday night. Pittsburgh Police confirmed that teargas was used to disperse demonstrators on August 19.
On Friday, Peduto announced leadership changes within the police bureau in regards to protest response.
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- Pittsburgh Police Officer Placed On Paid Leave After Complaint About Social Media Posts
- Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Makes Leadership Changes In Response To Police’s Handling Of Protests
- Pittsburgh Police Use Pepper Spray On Demonstrators And Charge 26-Year-Old Man After Protest Outside Mayor Peduto’s Home
- Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Says Protest Outside His House ‘Crosses A Line’
- About 300 Protesters March To Mayor Bill Peduto’s Home After Arrest Of Demonstrator
- Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto ‘Livid’ About Protester Arrest, Won’t ‘Tolerate These Tactics’ In The Future
- Pittsburgh Activists Say Peduto, Public Safety ‘Vilify’ Protesters Following Weekend Arrest Of Demonstrator
- Police Tactics Used In Oakland Arrest Sparks Anger, Protests, Calls For Mayor Bill Peduto’s Resignation
- Pittsburgh Mayor Has ‘Serious Concerns’ With Plainclothes Officers’ Arrest Of Protester Into Unmarked Vans
- Pittsburgh Police Arrest Man During Protests In Oakland
Protestors arrived to Saturday’s protest with added security measures. Some demonstrators lead the crowd with shields. Others formed a blockade with bicycles around the perimeter to protect the group.
Organizers said this safety measure served as a barrier between them and agitators.
The crowd moved through East Liberty, Point Breeze and into Wilkinsburg where roughly 300 Civil Saturday demonstrators combined with another crowd, joining their cries for justice in the Romir Talley case.
Talley was shot and killed by a Wilkinsburg Police Officer Robert Gowans last December. Gowans’ name was released to the public on August 5 of this year. Talley was shot and killed on December 22, 2019. The crowd, which included close friends and family of Talley, called for the arrest of that officer.
The protest landed on the steps of the Wilkinsburg Borough building for final remarks before the two crowds separated.
Protestors from the Civil Saturday group marched peacefully back to East Liberty and wrapped up around 9:00 p.m.