DUQUESNE, Pa. (KDKA) — A city of Duquesne resident was arrested while having a meeting with the mayor.
According to Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby, the arrest was unacceptable. She Facebook-Lived a video last Friday of a woman being arrested while speaking with her inside the municipal building.READ MORE: Heinz Field COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Fills Additional Appointments; AHN, Dick's Sporting Goods Team Up For Clinic
She said they were discussing issues the neighbor had with the city when police came in to arrest her.
“She is not a criminal. She was expressing concerns about her city, and she has that right to express it,” Nesby told KDKA.
According to the city’s attorney, Myron Sainovich, only elected officials and city workers are supposed to be inside the building because of coronavirus concerns.
“The marque says you’re not allowed inside the building. There’s a sign on the front of the building that’s directing people how to pay their water bill,” he told KDKA over Zoom.
Mayor Nesby said on Friday that the guidelines had changed. Residents have to sign in, take a temperature check and go to a designated area for a meeting.
The mayor and the resident were inside her office with the door locked. The mayor says the city manager and a police lieutenant used another key to unlock her door and come in.
“I didn’t even know why they were there, and the situation wasn’t even explained to me. When I asked the police lieutenant to stand down, he refused to,” Mayor Nesby said.READ MORE: State Police Give 10 Warnings To Pittsburgh Businesses Over COVID-19 Orders
Sainovich said police asked the woman to leave because of coronavirus restrictions. When she refused, police arrested her.
“I’m 60 some years old and if you want to throw me on the ground and drag me out of here,” the resident can be heard saying while police handcuffed her.
“Don’t start that nonsense,” the officer is heard saying in the video.
Sainovich said the resident allegedly spit at a city council member, and the police handled the situation properly.
“There was no doubt about it, as far as the police conducting themselves in a very precessional manner,” Sainovich said.
Mayor Nesby said it was uncalled for and neighbors in the city should not be locked out of the municipal building when they want to have their concerns heard when other stores and buildings are opening their doors.
“This is not how we want to treat our citizens in the city of Duquesne. This is not how we treat our elderly or our taxpayers. We are accountable to the people,” Mayor Nesby said.MORE NEWS: City Council Honors Retiring Pittsburgh Police Commander Karen Dixon
Mayor Nesby is calling for an independent review of the situation. The city attorney says the woman has been charged with disorderly conduct and defiant trespass. He was not able to provide her name.