Pittsburgh NAACP Criticizes “Lack of Transparency” in Jim Rogers Death Investigation | News | Pittsburgh

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Photo of the CP: Ryan Deto

A memorial to Jim Rogers on a bench in Friendship Park in Bloomfield

On October 14, Jim Rogers died at a local Pittsburgh hospital while still in police custody due to a medical emergency. A day earlier, Rogers was tased by Pittsburgh Police after police answered a 911 call and reported that Rogers had stolen a bicycle in Bloomfield.

According to WPXI, the arrest took place around 10:30 a.m. on October 13 after Rogers allegedly picked up a bicycle that had been left in someone’s yard on Harriet Street in Bloomfield. Neighbors told WPXI that Rogers, a black man believed to be homeless, took the bike for a ride before returning it. The bike was for sale for $ 50, and the woman who owns the bike said she wanted to get rid of it, and told WPXI that the man could have had it for free.

Rogers’ death resulted in several gatherings and demonstrations, demanding answers on Rogers’ exact death and on responsibility if police action led to his death. But more than five weeks have now passed and more detailed information has yet to be released.

Now the Pittsburgh Chapter of the NAACP is joining the chorus demanding answers and wondering why the public isn’t more informed about what is happening with the investigation into Rogers’ death.

In a letter to the Pittsburgh Mayor’s office, Bill Peduto, Pittsburgh NAACP branch president Johnnie L. Miott, wrote that the community has waited for more information since Rogers’ death he over five weeks ago, but became frustrated with the lack of transparency in the investigation.

“This persistent lack of transparency and the slowness of the investigation into this horrific case will not only continue to fuel public distrust of institutions, whose responsibility it is to fairly serve and protect their communities,” Miott wrote. “We are formally requesting copies of all documents related to the Jim Rogers case.”

In a press release sent to Pittsburgh City PaperPeduto spokeswoman Molly Onufer responded, “As policy requires, the city immediately turned this investigation over to Allegheny County Police for a fully independent third-party investigation.

Chris Kearns, superintendent of police for Allegheny County, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on November 18, that the Allegheny County Police Office withheld the names of officers involved in critical incident investigations and that it was up to the agency involved. In this case, it is the Pittsburgh Police Department.

When it is reached by the Post-Gazette on November 18, Pittsburgh Police spokeswoman Cara Cruz said: “There are no plans to release any names at this time. Public Safety is allowing the county to complete its investigation while our own internal review is taking place simultaneously. ”

According to Cyril Wecht, the well-known former Allegheny County coroner, an autopsy and toxicology report for a death like Rogers’ would take no more than two weeks, and police are likely awaiting information from reports from police and investigation reports. But even recognized him in the PG that these usually don’t take months to complete.

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