The jury is out, literally, in a U.S. District Court case against the City of Pittsburgh. The jury’s decision – whether or not to hold the city at fault when the, now terminated, detective choked a man in a May 2010 road rage incident.
After a fender bender, the detective grabbed the plaintiff by the throat, then chased him down, waving his gun around after he fled. Crazy, right?
The plaintiff claims that the city showed “deliberate indifference” to the detective’s past behavior, and they should have done more to curb a man who showed a “pattern of choking, pattern of off-duty rage, pattern of road rage.” The sides stipulated to 32 citizen complaints against the detective over a 17-year career that ended with his firing and a subsequent criminal conviction on three misdemeanors following the incident.
Earlier in the week, the judge dismissed as defendants the former police chief and current assistant chief, saying that a reasonable jury could not find that they had been indifferent and were responsible for the detective’s actions.
There are a lot of good police officers out there. The small minority that includes this guy is a loud minority sometimes.