A police officer in Pittsburgh who was patrolling the Pride Fest over the weekend earned himself a suspension and investigation after he was caught on camera allegedly assaulting a female attendee.
The gay pride event draws thousands of people to the streets of downtown Pittsburgh every year.
The video shows the officer grab a woman by the hair and strike her in the stomach and chest area several times. However according to the unidentified officer’s accounts, he was breaking up a fight that erupted between a man who was protesting the event and a woman, identified as Ariel Lawther. When he intervened she struck him multiple times then took a “combative stance” against him.
When the woman was later put in handcuffs she claimed “I’m sorry. I did not see you were a cop. I am sorry I hit you,” according to reports.
According to the officer, he had spoken to Lawther earlier in the day and told her that she can’t be “so physically offensive towards the demonstrators.”
Lawther was later released from jail but faces multiple charges, including resisting arrest, aggravated assault, and disorderly conduct.
Mayor Bill Peduto announced the officer’s suspension during a press briefing on Monday, saying that the officer will remain off the street for 30 days while the investigation is ongoing.
Pittsburgh’s public safety director, Stephen Bucar, reinforced the mayor’s remarks, saying “All of these types of incidents will be reviewed and investigated very thoroughly and objectively without any predisposition on either side.”
”This incident has been referred to Office of Municipal Investigation for review. There’s a process in place that triggers that in these types of incidents.”