DA’s office defies Mayor Peduto, charges to be withdrawn in 39 cases connected to recent protests

DA's office drops charges against dozens arrested in connection with protests

PITTSBURGH — Officials with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office said they will be withdrawing charges in 39 cases connected to recent protests, despite orders from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

Here is a statement sent to Channel 11:

“As the result of local marches connected to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, events that have been predominantly peaceful, the Office of the Mayor directed the Pittsburgh Police Department to file criminal complaints against several dozen people who allegedly chose to engage in civil unrest.

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”Being charged criminally changes people’s lives, which is why any criminal charge requires proper supporting evidence. Notwithstanding the impact that the recent marches have had on our citizens and businesses, we do not have the evidence in these cases to suitably conduct a preliminary hearing.

"Until the Public Safety Director provides evidence that is both relevant and substantial, it is inappropriate to proceed with these criminal complaints. As such, District Attorney Zappala has directed that the charges be withdrawn in 39 of the cases connected to the events of the last ten days.”

The FOP Fort Pitt Lodge #1 sent a statement about the charges being dropped:

“FOP Ft Pitt Lodge #1 is very disappointed in District Attorney Zappala’s decision to withdraw charges against rioters who endangered the lives of those protesting peacefully, destroying property of law abiding business owners, and injuring law enforcement officers.”

People gathered outside the the Allegheny County Courthouse Monday evening, marking another day of demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death. A group of attorneys from the public defender’s office joined the crowd as well.

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