Pittsburgh mayor asks “higher authorities” to investigate leak of report on police Taser incident

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is asking for help investigating the leaking of the report on the Jim Rogers Taser incident.

That report was leaked to some local media Tuesday and is highly critical of the officers who responded to the October incident in Bloomfield.

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The report questioned the use of force and suggested a lack of supervision and the officers’ failure to recognize a suspect in distress.

Robert Swartzwelder, the president of the officers’ union, said the report should not have been released because of the ongoing investigation by the District Attorney.

Mayor Peduto declined to elaborate Thursday, only saying he asked “higher authorities” to investigate.

Channel 11 checked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the Pennsylvania Attorney General, and neither are involved at this point.

Peduto said whoever leaked the report could face criminal charges.

“It could jeopardize the entire case, which would be damning to the family. The only thing that we are interested in is justice, justice for the family in this investigation,” Peduto said.

The mayor declined to address specific allegations against the officers contained in that report, saying he hadn’t seen it yet. He’s calling for an outside investigation into the leak, which he suspects came out of the police department.

The leaked report corroborates what sources have told Target 11: that Jim Rogers’ repeatedly asked for help after he was Tased ten times, saying “I can’t breathe.” He passed out in the police car on the way to the hospital and died the next day.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner has not released the cause and manner of death.

The report also accuses officers of excessive force, a lack of supervision and failure to intervene and provide care.

A city spokesperson said eight officers will face disciplinary action. Sources tell Target 11 some of the officers will be fired.

The Allegheny County District Attorney said some of the statements in that leaked report were inconsistent with prior statements, and that he’s now conducting a review for the possibility of additional criminal conduct.