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Rookie Pittsburgh police officer fired after confrontation with suburban officer

SWISSVALE, Pa. — A cellphone video that caught a confrontation between a Swissvale police officer and an off-duty Pittsburgh police officer has led to the Pittsburgh officer’s firing.

Sidney Bates, 25, who was just sworn onto Pittsburgh’s force in May, got into the argument with the Swissvale officer after she repeatedly asked for his ID after he stopped his car to help a woman unload groceries.

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Now, his lawyer says he’s lost his job without ever speaking to a city or police representative.

“He's worn that badge. It's his lifelong dream,” said Blaine Jones. “And now he’s terminated.

Jones told Channel 11 that Bates got a phone call late Friday night asking him to turn in his badge, and then a letter of termination Saturday.

“Sidney has never spoken to anyone in command. He's never spoken to anyone with the city,” Jones said. “If a person is being terminated, the least you can do is call that person and give them an explanation or bring them in and say, ‘This is why you're being terminated.’ None of that was done.”


Jones says Bates deserves what he describes as fair treatment by the legal system.

"When you look at the video, is this a fireable offense? I mean, in the end he was charged with a non-traffic summary offense," Jones said. "Think about that. A summary offense. What happened to due process? What happened to 'you're innocent until, if ever, proven guilty?'"

Despite all that's happened, Bates just wants to be a City of Pittsburgh police officer, Jones said.
"He wants to put all of that to the side, he wants to represent the city," Jones said.

Bates will file a grievance against the city to try to get his job back, and Jones says he also wants an explanation of why he was fired in the first place.