WATCH: Pittsburgh Cops Beat Unarmed Man Because They Were ‘In Fear’

SEP 20, 2017

Multiple city agencies are reviewing the actions of five Pittsburgh police officers involved in the violent arrest of a 47-year-old man late Tuesday near PPG Paints Arena.

Video captured at the scene appears to show an officer striking Daniel T. Adelman, of Ravenna, Ohio, at least eight times while the man is on the ground before slamming his head against the pavement.

“Shut up, [expletive],” one officer shouted.

“Stop resisting,” another yelled.

Attorney Phil DiLucente speaks about the violent arrest of Daniel Adelman, which occurred near PPG Paints Arena Tuesday.

“Tase him, Bobby,” an officer shouted during the scuffle.

Mr. Adelman was eventually subdued with a Taser. At the end of the video clip, he is heard saying, “I’m trying to help you,” multiple times. The 54-second clip, apparently captured by a bystander, was circulated widely on social media Wednesday and gained more than 70,000 views.

City police began an internal review of the use of force on Wednesday, city public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.

District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. is also reviewing the arrest, spokesman Mike Manko said.

“In accordance with long-established protocols regarding use of force matters, the effectuation of this arrest is under review,” Mr. Manko said.

Additionally, the city’s Office of Municipal Investigations and Office of Professional Services are reviewing the incident, Ms. Toler said, as is the city’s Citizen Police Review Board.

Officers involved in the matter were identified in court records as Brian Markus, Andrew Jacobs, Todd Modena, Francis Rende and Robert Palivoda. Officer Andrew Jacobs was placed on desk duty pending the outcome of reviews, according to Mayor Bill Peduto.

The incident began around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, Ms. Toler said, when officers spotted warrant suspect David Jones, 34, near Lemieux Place and Centre Avenue, Uptown.

Mr. Jones was wanted on a warrant out of Cranberry on forgery charges and had previously fled from a Pittsburgh officer who attempted to serve that warrant, Ms. Toler said in a statement.

According to court records, Officers Modena, Jacobs and Markus stopped Mr. Jones as he was walking on the sidewalk and informed him he was under arrest for the warrant.

Officers Modena and Jacobs were wearing plain clothes and working an off-duty detail; Officer Markus was wearing his police uniform.

Mr. Jones tried to “bull rush” the officers and get away, but the three officers took him to the ground, according to an affidavit written by Officer Markus.

At that point, Mr. Adelman ran toward the group. The officers yelled at him to back up and identified themselves as police officers, according to the complaint.

Mr. Adelman did not stop and “took a fighting stance,” Officer Jacobs wrote in an affidavit.

“In fear he was going to strike myself or other officers, I struck the male in the face to halt his attacking and advancing nature,” Officer Jacobs wrote.

Mr. Adelman fell against a wall, got up and approached the officers again, according to the complaint. They threw him to the ground. He pulled one hand under his body and grabbed at Officer Jacobs’ shirt with his other hand, according to the complaint.

Officer Jacobs punched the man in the face between three and five times, he wrote in the affidavit, and then another four to seven times in the rib cage.

Officer Palivoda, who had arrived as backup with Officer Rende, then struck Mr. Adelman with a Taser and subdued him.

Mr. Adelman was at a Cleveland Clinic hospital Wednesday night being treated for a broken nose, dislocated shoulder and a possible concussion, said his nephew, Marcus Adelman. Pittsburgh attorney Phil DiLucente, who is representing Mr. Adelman, said he will hold a press conference Thursday where he will release more information.

Mr. Adelman’s sister, Shelli Andrick, 48, of Springfield, Ohio, said her brother works as a professional painter and was visiting Pittsburgh with his wife for a concert. She said he left his wife to smoke a cigarette and never came back.

His wife later got a text from him that said, “I’m arrested. Find me.”

Mr. Adelman is a passive person who would “turn around backwards” to avoid getting into a fight, “especially with police,” his sister said.

“Oh my god,” she said as she watched the video for the first time Wednesday. “My poor brother. This is so uncalled for. This is what happens to him when he goes to Pittsburgh?!”

Elizabeth Pittinger, executive director of the Citizen Police Review Board, said her office has opened an inquiry into the incident and she doesn’t yet know all the facts.

“I think it’s very unfortunate that whatever the facts were, it will be colored by their language and their ferocious efforts to take this person into control,” she said.

Robert Swartzwelder, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, said he is prohibited from commenting on the incident until the internal police review concludes.

The woman who posted the video on Facebook, Joce Smith, said her cousin took the video and sent it to her just after the incident happened.

“It made me sick to my stomach watching it,” she said, adding that she posted the video on her Facebook page so that people would see it.

Pittsburgh police are authorized to use kicks, strikes and punches to subdue a suspect in certain situations, according to department policy.

Such “hard empty hand control techniques” are placed in the third level of the department’s five-tiered of use of force continuum, which begins with verbal commands on the first tier and ends with using deadly force in the fifth tier.

The policy says that as a general rule, officers can use a control technique that is one level higher than a suspect’s resistance, which ranges from non-compliant body language to an attack likely to cause death or serious bodily injury.

Officers are also instructed to avoid the inappropriate use of “coarse, harsh, profane or uncivil language,” according to Bureau policy.

“Our police officers are trained to de-escalate situations,” Mr. Peduto said in a statement. “This is part of the protocol of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. We have zero tolerance for deviation to that standard.”

Police Chief Scott Schubert said Wednesday that the Bureau will make public the findings of the internal review when it is finished.

“We have a zero tolerance for excessive force among Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Officers,” he said in a statement.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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