PITTSBURGH - A Port Authority chairman apologized Friday after two groups asked for accountability in the deadly shooting of a man who last month fatally stabbed a police K-9 in Wilkinsburg.
Surveillance video released after the Jan. 31 shooting shows Port Authority police officers following Bruce Kelley Jr., who was shot and killed after authorities said he repeatedly refused orders to stop and stabbed K-9 Aren.
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On Friday morning, a monthly Port Authority board meeting was opened up for public comment. Many were related to Kelley’s death.
“The killing of Bruce Kelley Jr. is Pittsburgh's version of ‘A Tale of Two Cities,’” Dell Vonn, a Black Lives Matter supporter, said.
In a surprising move, the Port Authority responded to the public comments related to the events of Jan. 31.
“A life was lost. Mr. Kelley lost his life, and for that we are all very sorry. The board has not seen a report and the board will not comment publicly on what has happened until the DA has issued a report,” Port Authority Board Chairman Robert Hurley said.
He went on to say that policy, procedure and personnel will be evaluated once the report is complete.
“His comments appear that they're open to do something about it. He didn’t sound very biased, so I’m hopeful that they will be open-minded when they do review the case,” Alliance for Police Accountability President Brandi Fisher said.
Members of the Alliance for Police Accountability and Pittsburghers for Public Transit are awaiting the report, as the group’s leaders urge that the Port Authority change how K-9s are used and train officers to interact with people with mental illness.
“We need to, all of us, hold Port Authority accountable for the use of force against the public. And in this instance, we believe that they overstepped their bounds,” Helen Gerhardt, of Pittsburghers for Public Transit, said.
The district attorney said earlier in the week that he is still working on the report and had gotten new information from police about how K-9s are used.
- Citizen Police Review Board discusses use of K-9 officers in apprehending suspects
- Activists calling for changes to use of police K-9s after death of Bruce Kelley Jr.
- Video of events leading up to shooting death of man who killed K-9 raises questions
- Suspect’s family speaks out after fatal stabbing of police K-9, says he’s also a victim
- Man shot and killed by police after fatally stabbing K-9