PITTSBURGH — Dressed in black and carrying signs like “Defund the Police, Peduto is a coward,” about 150 protesters marched to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s home Sunday after rallying in Mellon Park.
Protesters were outraged by a “pop-up” arrest of a protester in Oakland on Saturday during a Black Lives Matter protest.
Police said Matthew Cartier, 25, was blocking an intersection unnecessarily, stepping in front of cars and trying to direct traffic -- which led to the arrest. He was charged with failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstructing highways and other public passages, and he was released on recognizance bond Sunday.
According to Channel 11 News’ exchange partners at TribLIVE, protesters said that Cartier wasn’t merely arrested, but that he was abducted.
“This is about Pittsburgh not accepting that treatment — that is, saying ‘no’ to Pittsburgh with government vehicles abducting us off the streets,” one of the speakers, who declined to identify herself, told The Trib.
About 150 people listened to speakers at Mellon Park before walking several blocks to Peduto’s home, where they called for his resignation, then eventually dispersed.
Earlier in the day, city leaders addressed what happened Saturday -- including public safety officials and Peduto. Public safety officials said they have been having cooperation issues with protesters and organizers over the past few weeks -- and Saturday’s incident was a prime example of that.
Meanwhile, Peduto said that seeing that arrest yesterday with an unmarked vehicle, plainclothes officers, and a “pop-out,” made him uncomfortable, and he’s expressed that to police leadership. He said he’s asked for explanations as to when a pop-out is appropriate and when it is, why it is.
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