Peaceful rally gets heated after Wilkinsburg officer allegedly assaults protestor

WILKINSBURG, Pa. — A rally that started peacefully turned ugly on Saturday afternoon after an officer allegedly assaulted a protester.

The protest was held to demand justice for Jim Rogers, the Pittsburgh man tased several times by city officers until he died.

Organizers said they were told to disperse as they reached Wilkinsburg, and that’s when the alleged assault happened.

Walking side by side with protesters, the family of Jim Rogers expressed their concerns about police brutality and asked for police accountability.

The crowd—while small—marched several miles with a police escort until they reached Wilkinsburg.

At that point, a protester shared with 11 News that they were met by several police departments, including Wilkinsburg, Swissvale, Edgewood and Church Hill.

Wilkinsburg police told the crowd to keep it moving or be arrested, and minutes later, the alleged assault took place.

“It appears to be a use of force that is questionable,” said Brandi Fisher with the Alliance for Police Accountability. “Officers punching someone in the face doesn’t seem like a professional training or trained response.”

Fisher said this is why more training for officers is needed.

Wilkinsburg’s Mayor Dontae Comans offered this statement to 11 News after the incident:

“The footage being shared shows what we do not want to see or experience when a community is expressing its hurt over police sanctioned violence...I have been in touch with the police chief and our officers body cameras were on, which will be used to investigate next steps.”

Comans went on to say that he is grateful that the situation did not escalate further and assured the public that he would keep everyone informed on the procedures and protocols to come.