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Pittsburgh to fire five police officers after death of theft suspect

Getty Images, Douglas Sacha

The city of Pittsburgh announced on Wednesday that it was firing five officers who were involved in an October incident when a man was tased by police and later died.

Director of Public Safety Lee Schmidt said three additional officers involved in the tasing of 54-year-old Jim Rogers will remain with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (PBP), according to Pittsburgh Action News.

All eight officers, including two supervisors, were previously suspended with pay and subjected to disciplinary hearings, following internal reviews that found multiple procedural failures into the handling of the death of Rogers, according to a December statement from the city.

Mayor Ed Gainey said at the Wednesday press conference that Rogers “didn’t deserve to lose his life at the hands of police officers.”

“What his life could have been will stay with me for as long as I am the mayor of this city,” Gainey said. “The death of Jim Rogers is a stark reminder of the work we have in front of us, to make our city the safest city in America.”

On Oct. 13, police confronted Rogers in a Pittsburgh neighborhood concerning an alleged theft of a bicycle. An officer deployed his taser, and Rogers was transported to a local hospital, where he died the next day.

In December, Pittsburgh’s Critical Incident Review Board determined all eight officers should be disciplined for procedural failures. The board also recommended all future use of force incidents involve the presence of a supervisor and the deployment of a taser should require emergency medical services to assist the victim.

The city has not yet released the report and has not publicly named the officers involved.

The Allegheny County Police Department is independently reviewing the incident.

Tags Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Police abuse
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