PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert is calling for more cooperation from protesters.
On Wednesday, the chief said police are willing to allow some civil disobedience. But he says police are asking that protesters give an advanced warning about their plans, saying cooperation will keep everyone safe.
Animosity erupted between police and protesters when armed, plainclothes officers jumped out of an unmarked white van and arrested a demonstrator. Mayor Peduto condemned the arrest and reassigned police commanders.
But the police chief appears to defend the arrest.
“It was a low-visibility arrest. It was designed to keep other things from happening. That’s what they chose to do. We understand it’s not popular, but that is a decision that was made at the time.”
The chief is now calling for more cooperation from demonstrators to avoid future arrests.
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“We understand that there’s a divide, and we got to figure out how we can lessen that divide so we can have some form of communication to keep them safe,” Chief Schubert said. “That’s all I want to do, is keep people safe.”
But cooperation has limits, and Schubert says they won’t tolerate the rioting and vandalism that occurred May 30.
“It started out as a protest and then it turned into riotous behavior. And there was a lot of damage, there were people assaulted, officers were assaulted,” Schubert said.
In subsequent protests, there have been few injuries. The chief wants to keep it that way.