Pittsburgh’s Citizen Police Review Board will reach full strength today for the first time in two years, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Its director, Elizabeth Pittinger, hopes it can clear a backlog of hearings and perhaps reorganize its operations. The seven-member board investigates complaints on police misconduct. It was last at full strength in October 2003.
The board has started investigating a recent incident in which police attempted to arrest an anti-war demonstrator who allegedly struck a photographer’s camera. A scuffle ensued, and one protester was pepper-sprayed and shocked with a Taser, while another was bitten by a police dog. Through last year, the board took in 4,081 complaints, and recommended discipline in only 90 of them. Figures weren’t available on how many of its disciplinary recommendations were adopted by Police Chief Robert W. McNeilly Jr.