Pittsburgh to fire 5 officers after man killed by police

The five officers, who have not been identified, have 14 days to challenge the firings in arbitration, Public Safety Director Lee Schmidt said during a press conference with Mayor Ed Gainey. Officers will have the opportunity to retire. Three other officers will be allowed to keep their jobs but, according to CNN affiliate KDKA-TV, they will have to be retrained.
Jim Rogers, 54, was in custody at the Pittsburgh Police Department on Oct. 13 when an officer deployed a Taser on him, according to a statement from the Department of Public Safety. Rogers was then taken to Mercy Hospital, where he died the following day.
His death was ruled an accident by the medical examiner, who said it resulted from a lack of oxygen to the brain, according to CNN affiliate WTAE.

Police initially said a Taser was used because Rogers was not complying with their order, according to WTAE.

CNN has reached out to the police union for comment.

An investigation by the Internal Review Board found that “a series of procedural failures contributed to this tragic outcome”.

“Mr. Rogers deserved to live … a long life,” Gainey said. “And he didn’t deserve to lose his life at the hands of the police. What his life might have been will stay with me as long as I serve as mayor of this town.”

Eight officers, including two supervisors, were suspended with pay after the incident, CNN affiliate KDKA-TV reported.

An Allegheny County grand jury is investigating whether criminal charges could be brought against the eight officers, the station reported.

Gainey said Rogers’ death was “a stark reminder of the work we have ahead of us to make our city the safest city in America.”

Both Gainey and Schmidt declined to discuss details of the internal death investigation.

In December, after an internal Critical Incident Review Committee looked into the video, officer statements, and general orders and police bureau training, the committee recommended policy and procedural changes. .

Recommendations included requiring a supervisor to be present during use-of-force incidents “to conduct a medical assessment and request appropriate personnel”, and for emergency medical services to assess patients after the use of Tasers . The bureau also required officers to become “fully certified emergency medical responders.”

“I hope today is a day that we can get closer to healing his family and our city,” Gainey said Wednesday, referring to those close to Rogers.

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