PITTSBURGH — A former police officer is fighting for his job after he was fired for a crime of which he was acquitted. His attorney is sharing his story only with Target 11's Rick Earle.
Robert Kramer worked for Pittsburgh police in Zone 1. Kramer has five years of experience in the department and an unblemished record, but he soon found himself out of a job after he was accused of road rage.
Channel 11 followed Kramer's story. The department fired him after an alleged road rage incident two years ago. A driver accused Kramer of pointing a gun at him while at an intersection in Sheraden. Kramer was off duty at the time. He denied the claim, but police charged him with simple assault and let him go from the force.
"The irony here is a police officer doesn't even get the presumption of innocence," said Noah Geary, Kramer's attorney.
Kramer fought the charges in court. It took a jury less than 30 minutes to find him not guilty.
Kramer then filed a complaint with the office of municipal investigations. They found the investigating officer, Detective Ed Green, violated photo lineup procedures and lied about the search warrant.
Kramer has now filed a private criminal complaint with the district attorney, accusing Green of lying on the witness stand. In court, Green was questioned about the day he and a sergeant drove Kramer to his house to pick up the gun in question.
Green said they parked at the end of the driveway and claimed he and the sergeant both got out of the car as Kramer went into his garage. He said Kramer reached into the ductwork or rafters and retrieved a gun.
The sergeant's testimony did not match. He said they never got out of the car and that Kramer went in the front door and came out the garage. He said Kramer never stopped to do anything in the garage.
Geary claims Green attempted to show Kramer was concealing a crime. Prosecutors said Green had no reason to lie, but that testimony apparently had an impact on jurors.
In a transcript of an interview obtained by Target 11, one juror called the trial a sham and said jurors didn't believe Green's testimony about the gun. .
The police department declined to comment, but Target 11 was able to question the mayor about the case. Earle asked if Kramer deserved an apology and his job back.
"That will be a part of an investigation," Mayor Bill Peduto said. "I really don't know at this point. It would have to have an independent investigation to be able to determine that."
Geary is also planning on filing a federal lawsuit for malicious prosecution.
"I can't erase what happened, but we want to find out why this happened and get him as much money as possible," Geary said.
The district attorney's office says they received the complaint but had no further comment. It will now be up to the police chief to determine any disciplinary action against Green. Kramer is set to go to arbitration to get his job back.
As for the original complaint, Kramer testified that he had a brief run-in with the alleged victim outside his home a few nights before he was accused of road rage. He believes the road rage story was in retribution.
Target 11 tried to reach out to Detective Green and even tried to reach him through the police department. Our requests for comment went unanswered.
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