Blogger’s note: This post represents my own personal ideas and thoughts and does not represent any group, organization or other entity.

Alex Zimmerman has a post over at the City Paper blogh (the “h” is silent of course) about the progress or lack there of in the City’s investigation into the police incident that happened at Pittsburgh Pride this year. I posted about the episode on the morning after it happened, and Mayor Peduto announced a swift and thorough investigation. He promised that the City would “not turn a blind eye” to situations like this, a true departure from earlier administrations. I remain committed to what I said in my initial blog post:

I’d just encourage everyone to take a deep breath, do whatever they can to help get all the facts brought to the table and remain engaged until there is a full investigation and a report. That means not jumping to conclusions, or talking speculatively about what something *might* mean and the “what ifs.” We, as a community must demand that the City does a thorough investigation and report, and try to keep the rhetoric from spiraling out of control until that happens.

I think Zimmerman is jumping to some conclusions. I don’t believe Peduto ever said the investigation would be done in 30 days, although Zimmerman supports that claim with Peduto’s tweet on July 2. As much as I believe LGBTQ Pittsburgh wants a swift answer, I think everyone is best served with a thorough investigation that can not be questioned by anyone once completed, and that may take longer than 30 days for sure. I don’t think that is a problem, however, I do think the Mayor will need to make some statement at some point before much longer. Even if just to reiterate that the investigation is continuing.

How the City communicates with the affected residents is every bit as important as making sure that Justice is done in either disciplining the officer or exonerating him. The video which covered social media quickly following the incident is very troubling to watch. It is hard to watch, even for those who are used to watching police action, and most of the public doesn’t have that level of experience. What they see is a very difficult to grasp series of events. The City cannot simply have an investigation and say they are going to do X,Y, and Z. No, they must help the public understand what the video shows and doesn’t show. Without this, there will be those who just see whatever happens as standard operating procedure, and nothing changed.

I’m deeply troubled by the way Gary Van Horn and the Delta Foundation are framing this incident as if it were all about the Police and “minority populations.”

“There’s a huge training component that we’re going to advocate for,” he says, “and some additional presence of police officers,” at events like Pride. He says his conversations with city officials, including the mayor, have been about instituting “best practices” for working with minority communities.

Pittsburgh Pride is a huge event with about 100,000 persons attending, many of whom do not identify as LGBT or Q. Clashes between protesters and event participants can happen at any type of event, and because Delta Foundation is the sole organization responsible for Pride, safety of Pride participants rests pretty squarely on the Delta Foundation’s back. Indeed, Delta works closely with Pittsburgh Police planning the event, and if more officers are needed, it is possibly a failure of Delta’s planning process.  Oh, and check out the officer’s name, Souroth Chatterji, and then talk to me about minority communities.

The real questions to be answered surround the officer’s actions. Were they justified? Did he break any policy, rule or protocol? If he did not- how is the City going to assist the residents of Pittsburgh in understanding that, and if he did, what is the City going to do about it?

Last week, I was at the Peduto sponsored public forum in Zone 5 regarding the new police chief selection process. There, you could find many, mostly African American who question if members of their community receive fair treatment at the hands of the police. A few days later, I listened to a middle-aged white straight  women convey her experience with a police officer which she found less than comforting. And yet, it is not hard to look around and see many many fine officers doing everything in their power to keep Pittsburgh safe. All residents regardless, deserve professional behavior by members of our police department at all times. All residents. Any anyone can find some reason to decide that they were treated poorly. The bottom line has to be a determination if the officer acted within the law or not. Period. The only important thing right now, is allowing the City to complete and then communicate with Pittsburgh residents the findings of their investigation.

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