A community task force on Pittsburgh Police reform issued a report of its months long study on Monday.
The report to Mayor Bill Peduto makes a series of recommendations, among them the temporary stop to the use of rubber bullets and non-lethal devices on protesters unless human life is threatened.
Task force co-chair Vallerie McDonald Roberts set the tone saying, "We have some problems."
"We want to make sure we're like, 'hey - hold off - this does not work in the best interest of the community'," said Roberts. "There are other ways to de-escalate, other ways of dispersion."
Peduto commissioned the task force to take a critical look at racial disparities and police tactics. He said, "This is not anti-police. This is anti-police brutality."
The disparities are clear. In 2019 in Pittsburgh, black males were stopped and frisked more than three times as often as white males.
The task force found eight areas they say are key to reform:
1. Eliminating Racial Disparities
2. Officer Wellness
3. Reimagining Policing
4. Recruitment, Training, Education and Hiring
5. Relations with Pittsburgh’s Fraternal Order of Police
6. Transparency and Accountability
7. Use of Force Changes Needed to Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Policy
8. Use of Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets, “Flash-Bang” Devices and Other Less Lethal Methods of
The full report from the taskforce can be read here.