PITTSBURGH — Target 11′s Rick Earle has learned new details about what led to a man being stun-killed and dying after an incident involving a bicycle in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood in October.
Sources said the victim, 54-year-old Jim Rogers, was stunned 8 times by responding Pittsburgh police officers with a Taser.
Police told Channel 11 that Rogers was not complying with officer commands and were forced to deploy the non-lethal weapon.
At the time, people living along Harriet Street told Channel 11 that Rogers took a bike that was listed for sale for $50 in someone’s front yard. He reportedly rode it around the block and then returned it a short time later. Several people living there said Rogers was aggressive and resisted arrest. Others said he pleaded with officers to stop during the incident.
Sources said a medic unit arrived at the scene to check Rogers out, but officers told them to leave. Two officers then took him away, driving past West Penn Hospital which was closer than UPMC Mercy Hospital. Sources said the officers thought he had fallen asleep.
Rogers died the next day at the hospital.
Target 11′s Earle learned that as many as four officers could be fired and two others could be demoted. Sources said the officers failed to follow training and established departmental procedures. The officer who used the stun-gun more than eight times failed the police academy test but was given a second chance to pass it.
The District Attorney’s office is still finalizing its investigation. Mayor Bill Peduto said he wants to finish the investigation and finalize any decisions before his term ends.
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