Activists calling for changes to use of police K-9s after death of Bruce Kelley Jr.

PITTSBURGH — Following the deadly shooting of a man who fatally stabbed a police K-9, activists are demanding changes when it comes to the use of police dogs.

Community activists from a handful of organizations, including the Alliance for Police Accountability, came together Thursday afternoon in Wilkinsburg to call for changes after police shot and killed Bruce Kelley Jr. after he stabbed police K-9 Aren in Wilkinsburg on Jan. 31.


Carrying photos of police dogs from the 1960s, the activists called for an end to the use of K-9s to take down suspects.

“Using police dogs to attack people is terror,” activist Mel Packer said.

Kelley’s aunt, Connie Kelley, also spoke out.

“They took a life and he's gone forever,” she said.

The group also called for a public hearing on tactics and training used by Port Authority police.

“Drinking in public with his dad: Is that really worth one’s life?” activist Tim Stevens asked.

Police said there was a scuffle when they questioned Kelley and his father about drinking on Port Authority property. The younger Kelley took off and then pulled out a 4-inch knife as police followed him.

The Allegheny County district attorney is still reviewing the evidence before deciding whether the officers’ actions were justified.