11 Investigates: Labor Relations Board files complaint against city over Jim Rogers’ body cam video

PITTSBURGH — 11 Investigates has learned that the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against the City of Pittsburgh over the release of the Jim Rogers’ police body cam video.

The city has been ordered to appear at a hearing.

Rogers died the day after he was tased by a Pittsburgh police officer who was investigating a report of a stolen bicycle in Bloomfield two years ago.

Four officers were fired for failing to get Rogers’ medical attention, excessive force and violating Bureau procedures. All four officers have been ordered reinstated by the city.

>> Pittsburgh police officer fired after Jim Rogers’ death reinstated

No criminal charges were ever filed but the city settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the Rogers family for $8 million.

Attorney Todd Hollis filed that lawsuit on behalf of Rogers’ half-brother and daughter.

Hollis had obtained the police body cam video and he released it earlier this year after obtaining a court order. Hollis put some of the video on his website but then held a public viewing in Homewood.

>> Bodycam video released of interactions between Jim Rogers, Pittsburgh police before, during tasing

“We can not expect to have transparency and secrecy. For that reason and that reason alone, it was important for me to release the body cam video,” said Hollis.

The city did not object to the release of the videos.

The police officers’ union, which was still in the middle of fighting for the officers’ jobs and seeking reduced disciplinary action in some cases, claimed the city violated the collective bargaining agreement by allowing the release of the body and dash cam video.

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“The city’s actions demonstrate an anti-union motive in violation of the act,” wrote the union.

The union also argued that the city’s agreement with Hollis regarding the public release and disclosure of the internal investigative material including the audio and video evidence of Rogers’ arrest, is a violation of the collective bargaining agreement.

11 Investigates has learned that just this week, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board agreed there was enough evidence to issue a complaint against the city and ordered them to appear at a telephone hearing next month in an effort to resolve the issue.

If that isn’t successful, the city must appear at an in-person hearing in June.

>> 3rd Pittsburgh police officer fired after Jim Rogers’ death reinstated

A spokesperson for Mayor Ed Gainey’s administration sent a statement to 11 Investigates about the complaint.

“The city did nothing wrong and will vigorously defend its position at the hearing in front of the PLRB (Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board) on June 26, 2024. The FOP’s allegations are without merit,” said the mayor’s spokesperson.

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