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Churches send letter to AG Shapiro asking for investigation into man’s death in Bloomfield incident

PITTSBURGH — The First United Methodist Church and eight others sent a letter to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro demanding an independent investigation into the death of Jim Rogers.

“One after another of these events leave community members in a situation where they don’t know if they can trust the credibility of the investigations,” church member Tracy Merrick said.

Rogers was shocked at least 8 times by Pittsburgh police officers last October in Bloomfield. He died a day later. Earlier this month, the Medical Examiner ruled his death an accident.

>>>RELATED: Pittsburgh leaders plan to fire 6 officers involved in Bloomfield incident

“How can that be an accident? You shot a gun once, it might be an accident. You do something one time, it might be an accident. To Taser someone eight or ten times is not an accident. It is a homicide,” said forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht.

Shapiro’s office sent Channel 11 a statement:

“The death of Mr. Rogers is a tragedy. Under Pennsylvania law, our office does not have jurisdiction to investigate this matter unless a referral is sent by a District Attorney for either a conflict or resource need.”

District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s office also sent a statement:

“I have long held the position, and publicly communicated the same, that if the legislature and the attorney general want to assume full responsibility for the investigation and prosecution of police involved use of force matters, I would support that. Clearly the issue has been and remains before Mr. Shapiro and the legislature.”