PITTSBURGH — Chief Investigator Rick Earle has obtained exclusive video of a police officer shoving a handcuffed teenager into a wall.
11 Investigates first told you about the incident in December, when the sergeant was put on leave.
Sources said he was being loud and obnoxious for two hours when Pittsburgh police Sgt. Gene Hlavac finally had enough.
Hlavac is seen on video coming out of his office and pointing his finger at the juvenile and then shoving him down on the bench and into the wall with two hands.
The teen and the officer exchange a few words after that and the officer goes back into his office.
“The young man was handcuffed, again, not in a power position, and the Sgt. used force that was totally unnecessary,” said Tim Stevens, the CEO of the Black Political Empowerment Project.
We showed the video to members of the Black Political Empowerment Project, the NAACP, and the Alliance for Police Accountability.
“It’s horrific seeing a teenager handcuffed, doesn’t look like they’re putting up much of a fuss,” said Daylon Davis, president of the Pittsburgh NAACP chapter.
We also showed the video to Beth Pittinger, the executive director of the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board.
“Whatever he said doesn’t rise to the level of a threat to the officer. he couldn’t hurt him. so why hands on him? It’s just inappropriate,” said Pittinger.
In December, Hlavac was put on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
The police union and the city declined to comment but sources said Hlavac was suspended for five days, temporarily demoted for two months and ordered to anger management.
“Should have been fired, and end of story. You don’t do that. If he does that there when he knows he’s under video surveillance, what’s he doing on the street,” said Pittinger.
“Hopefully, he will be an example so other police officers will not duplicate or emulate what he has done,” said Stevens.
The teen was being detained for a burglary.
It’s unclear if any charges were filed against the teenager.
It doesn’t appear he was injured during the incident with the officer.
Hlavac has faced trouble before.
Back in 2010, he was fired from the police bureau but then reinstated after being cleared of domestic abuse charges.
Since then, Hlavac hasn’t faced any serious disciplinary action, until now.
In 2015, he received praise for firing a gun at and successfully stopping an out-of-control car that had just hit a police officer.
We reached out to Hlavac’s attorney, Phil DiLucente, and are awaiting a response.
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