Allegheny County

Protestors block downtown Pittsburgh streets; demand justice following man’s death

PITTSBURGH — Demonstrators took over the steps of the City County Building Friday and called on District Attorney Stephen Zappala to prosecute and name the officers and first responders involved in the case of Jim Rogers.

“Beyond just a conviction, beyond just one or two officers going away it’s this stuff not happening anymore, it’s our rights being guaranteed for us; we really haven’t seen that under this system,” said Devon, one of Friday’s demonstrators.

Jim Rogers died at the hospital the day after police deployed a stun gun on him in connection with a stolen bike investigation. Police said Rogers refused to comply with their orders. Neighbors caught the incident on a cellphone video.

“You can see on video putting the hands and feet of Jim behind his back after he has been tased eight times. This police brutality only continues throughout this video. And yet police officials tell us they have to wait for more. The citizen review board tells us we have to wait for more information,” said Devon.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala released the following statement:

“It is both frustrating and unacceptable that this investigation has dragged on this long. I will not permit this type of delay in the future.”

The group also wants full body camera footage of the incident and what followed after the response. Demonstrators say they plan to hold more rallies in the future.

In the meantime since Rogers’ death, Devon, who has been in close contact with his family, tells Channel 11 this fight isn’t just about him.

“It’s also about Romir Talley, Antwon Rose, Mark Danielles, Khalil Singletary, all of these Black men that have been murdered in this city. We continue to fight for Jim by continuing to fight for them, too.”