PITTSBURGH - A grand jury is not recommending criminal charges against the head of Pittsburgh's Fraternal Order of Police after claiming he interfered with multiple investigations around police-involved shootings.
In a 122-page report obtained by Channel 11, the investigating grand jury claims FOP President Robert Swartzwelder deliberately obstructed the investigations, calling his conduct "shocking" and "reprehensible."
But the grand jury also placed the blame at the feet of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, saying it didn't do its part in stopping the interference.
Mayor @billpeduto’s office just released a statement on the grand jury report saying they fully cooperated, adding the DA detectives could have stopped the FOP President’s interference “but did not do so” pic.twitter.com/8QN3hVHxXg— Aaron Martin (@WPXIAaronMartin) December 7, 2018
"In the two critical incident investigations examined, we found that those who were responsible for maintaining the integrity of these active criminal investigations instead allowed heavy-handed tactics by the FOP to dictate police procedure," the report said.
The attorney representing FOP President Bob Swartzwelder called the investigating grand jury report an effort to "chill and deter" Swartzwelder from doing his job as union president, adding all his client did was protect his membershttps://t.co/pYszcbonuY— Aaron Martin (@WPXIAaronMartin) December 7, 2018
In a phone interview Friday afternoon, Swartzwelder's attorney Paul Boaz called the investigating grand jury an effort to chill and deter Swartzwelder and the union from protecting its members.
"We think this so-called report is bad," Boaz said. "The DA was unhappy he didn't have immediate access to these officers. The police have the same rights as everyone else."
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