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Breaking: Man Claiming to be Police Officer calls Woman N-word following peaceful Mt. Washington Protest

By June 7, 2020 11 Comments
Pittsburgh Racist Protest

The man who used racial epithets and derogatory slang about women after a protest Sunday in Mt. Washington. (Video Still)

Editor’s Note: This story contains disturbing language that includes racial epithet’s and slang that is demeaning toward women. We have left much of the language unedited, including one usage of the n-word.

By Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current Editor
charlie@pittsburghcurrent.com

A white man who identified himself as a “police officer” used racial epithets against a black woman as she left Sunday’s Peaceful Protest For Racial Justice on Mount Washington.

The event was attended by several hundred people along with Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald and U.S. Congressman Conor Lamb.

The woman asked not to be identified but says she was coming forward because she wants the man, who lives in her neighborhood identified. “I’m fearful because he lives in this neighborhood and I want charges brought against him so the neighborhood can feel safe from racism,” she said. The woman said she already feels unsafe in her neighborhood because of the outward racism by some residents. “I’m also thankful to the white allies who used their bodies to shield me from his hateful rhetoric,” she said. “It takes white allies to shut down racism. We can’t do it alone. I don’t know what would have happened if I was alone. I didn’t ask for help, they came on their own.”

The following video contains graphic language:

The woman, a resident of Mt. Washington for more than a decade told the Pittsburgh Current how her interaction with the man started.

“I was all alone. I didn’t have a protest sign out, and a white male around 50ish approached me and said: ‘The nigglets are out fucking shit up again aren’t they,’ she described. “I stared at him in shock and said ‘excuse me,’ and he said ‘you heard me you fucking cunt’ and I said ‘I will pray for you he then told me to ‘get out of’ his neighborhood.

“… I began to record him because he was calling me the n-word again and he then said he was a policeman.”

In the video, the woman asks the man, “You’re a police officer?” To which the man replied, “yes I am.” She asked him what department he worked for and to identify himself. He replied: “I don’t like black people.” The woman asked why, to which he told her: “None of your fucking business. Get your fucking phone out of my face you fucking stupid cunt. I don’t care if this goes viral.” He then called her a “fucking worthless nigglet who doesn’t have a job.”

At that point, a man and woman got involved. In a written statement, the stranger, who identified himself as Jon, heard the man verbally assaulting the woman and began following them. He said the man was “calling a girl severe racial slurs while walking past people cleaning up the peaceful protest on Mt Washington, only about 20 people left on the sidewalk at this point as most of the crowd marched into downtown.  He obviously planned his hate comments so that there weren’t enough people around to possibly corner him about it. It was one of the most hateful and racist things I have ever seen in person.” At one point, the man attempts to go after Jon.

Another woman, named Rachel, who witnessed the confrontation told the Current: “My husband and I were heading to our car when we saw this woman visibly upset, saying that this man walking by just called her a racist slur. She was just standing there near the overlooks, like anyone else was. A few others came over to see what was going on as well.

My husband followed the man. He said that the man said, “These people need to get out of my neighborhood.” And that “his routine was interrupted.” The man started circling back toward us, my husband following him. Then we all started following him as he was spouting hateful shit and that’s when I started to record him. The Current viewed but is not releasing the video because it identifies the victim of the verbal attack.
The Current reached out to city police and provided a screenshot of the man. Pittsburgh Police Spokesman Chris Togneri said he is circulating the picture to the department’s deputy chiefs, however, city officers, “are not allowed to grow facial hair unless undercover. I don’t think an undercover would declare publicly that he is police.” This fact was also independently corroborated by Elizabeth Pittinger of the Citizens Police Review Board, who also didn’t recognize the man as a city officer. Togneri says anyone who knows the man’s identity can contact city police at 412-323-7800.

The video ends with the woman telling the man: “When you spew vitriol and hate, this is what you’ll be met with. You racists will not be welcome in this neighborhood.”

At that point, the man turns angrily yelling, “This is my neighborhood, not yours, you fucking cunt,” as he walked away flipping his middle fingers.

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