“I think Pittsburgh can be an example for the rest of the country that this is something that is addressable."By Royce Jones

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Following months of protesting and petitioning, the results of the primary election are bringing changes to policing on the streets and inside the Allegheny County Jail.

On Tuesday, Allegheny County voters turned over their ballots to fill in the bubbles of several special election questions. Among the questions was a proposed ordinance that would restrict the use of solitary confinement inside the county jail.

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Another referendum was on the ballot for Pittsburgh voters to ban no-knock warrants within city limits. This follows the deadly shooting of Breonna Taylor by Kentucky police, which prompted months of unrest.

Ross Tedder, of the Alliance for Police Accountability, told KDKA, “Breonna’s Law is named after Breonna Taylor. She was killed by police after they were executing a no-knock warrant for her partner.”

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Both amendments passed exponentially, which was welcomed news for Tedder and others who helped write the language for the solitary confinement ordinance.

“The United Nations considers it a form of torture. Yet any given day, 86,000 people are in solitary confinement across the United States,” said Tedder.

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The new ordinance does not ban solitary confinement all together. Instead, it prohibits the act as a form of punishment for inmates and permits it only in emergency circumstances, which would be set by the warden with public oversight.

“It’s only something that can be used really for the protection of people. As we saw during COVID, that was an example of where there might be a need to keep people in there,” said Tedder.

Tedder said that the APA spent the past six months canvassing neighborhoods, gathering tens of thousands of signatures for petitions that helped get these questions on the ballot.

For some, these changes are proof that organizing helps.

“I think Pittsburgh can be an example for the rest of the country that this is something that is addressable,” Tedder told KDKA.

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The ban on no-knock warrants went into effect immediately. The ACJ has 180 days to make the changes limiting solitary confinement.