PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has responded after a local group, Black Activist and Organizer Collective, delivered a list of demands for police accountability to the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County officials last week.
Peduto released the following statement, and then responded to each of the group’s 12 demands:
“Dear Members of the Allegheny County Black Activist/Organizer Collective,
First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to present your demands to my office. I am committed to creating safer and healthier communities, investing in critical services, advancing racial equity and racial justice, reforming our criminal justice system, and uplifting, protecting, and improving the quality of life for our Black and Brown neighbors, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and immigrants and refugees.
As our nation, our region, and our city honor the memory of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, Antwon Rose II, and so many other Black Lives lost to police-involved violence, your passion, energy, and voice on how to move forward are valued and cherished. Your continued engagement and hard work will be invaluable as the City of Pittsburgh and our partners carry out these important initiatives and strive to build a more equitable Pittsburgh. Meaningful change will not happen overnight, but we must do our part everyday to eradicate the racial disparities that are so plainly evident in our city and our society and have been for generations.
As you requested, my response to each of your demands and the actions that we, as the City of Pittsburgh, can and will take and have taken are outlined below. While some of the demands fall solely within the jurisdiction of another level of government, others are within the City’s authority. In the formation and implementation of each of the initiatives listed below, community engagement and input will be vital.”
Here’s the group’s full list of demands:
- Defund the police, fund Black communities
- Demilitarize the police
- End the criminalization of Black people
- Remove all police from schools
- Make all collective bargaining with police public
- Terminate Pittsburgh Fraternal Order of Police President Robert Swartzwelder (a city police officer)
- Disband all private police departments
- End “no knock” warrants
- Cease partnership with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
- End cash bail
- Release all vulnerable individuals from jail
- Create an independent, fully funded civilian review board
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