Civil Suit Filed Against City Of Pittsburgh Over Police Handling Protest

George Floyd Protest East Liberty
Photo credit Kevin Battle
By NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) -  A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against the City of Pittsburgh for police actions on June 1 during a Black Lives Matter protest in East Liberty.

The lawsuit claims it was a peaceful protest and that police actions that escalated the event.

One of the plaintiffs, Donovan Hayden, tells KDKA Radio officers in riot gear ordered them to disperse.

"We didn't disperse and we did not see why this was an unlawful protest. We were just marching peacefully,” said Hayden.

The suit says police used gas and fired rubber and beanbag rounds. It seeks damages and an end to those tactics.

Attorney Margaret Coleman says it was police who committed the violence.

 "The protestors were kneeling, many of them had their hands up. They were chanting things like, 'Hands up don't shoot,' and 'This is not a riot.'

Attorney Quinn Cozzens says they are seeking injunctive relief. "Prevent them from deploying tear gas on peaceful protestors. We're trying to prevent them from deploying rubber bullets, bean bags, you know, sponge-tipped grenades."

The city has not responded.

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