Pittsburgh Police Officers Beat and Taser Fan

This video is raising some obvious concerns over the use of force against a fan in Pittsburgh. The fan, Scott Ashley, 41, seems pretty obnoxious and does shove a guy on the way out of the stadium but the officer appears to start to beat him over his verbal confrontation with the officer.

Ashley was being forced to leave the game between the Rockies and Pirates in the 6th inning because of his use of foul language and bothering other fans. He is shown walking down the stairs as fans begin chanting “USA, USA” — referencing his windbreaker. When he reached the bottom, he shoves a fan after failing to connect on a high five. The man is clearly a bit of a brute and deserving of being tossed out of the game. The question is whether he deserved the beating. The officer seems to strike out when Ashley talks back to him.

From the video, it would seem a strong case for excessive force by the officers who began in the right and appeared to end in the wrong. The fact that Ashley was not moving toward the officer and held any weapon is highly material in any review of the police conduct. The extent of the beating that followed also seems unjustified.

Source: The Examiner

29 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Police Officers Beat and Taser Fan

  1. “Lots of Monday morning quarterbacks here. If you people understand and know how to practically do the job, take the test and go through the academy. Your comments are hysterical.” -3/4Mos

    And your constructive input?

  2. Lots of Monday morning quarterbacks here. If you people understand and know how to practically do the job, take the test and go through the academy. Your comments are hysterical.

  3. Nothing will happen to the officer. Even if he had shot the man nothing would happen.
    Even if the officer shot the man and turned onto the crowd and shot several more people nothing would happen.

  4. Two New Orleans Police Officers Convicted on Civil Rights and Obstruction of Justice Charges in Connection with the Beating Death of a Civilian

    WASHINGTON—Two officers with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) have been convicted of civil rights and obstruction of justice crimes in connection with the beating death of civilian Raymond Robair in July 2005, and a subsequent cover-up.

    Officer Melvin Williams was convicted of violating Robair’s constitutional rights by beating him on July 30, 2005. Evidence at trial established that Williams approached Robair on the street in Robair’s neighborhood. Several neighbors testified that they saw Williams kick Robair in the side and beat him repeatedly with a baton. After the beating, Williams and Moore placed Robair, who was unconscious, into their police car and drove him to Charity Hospital, where, according to witnesses at trial, they falsely informed the hospital staff that they had found Robair under a bridge in this condition, and that all they knew was that Robair was a drug user. Based upon that information, the hospital treated Robair for a drug overdose rather than for blunt force trauma. Robair, who suffered fractured ribs and a ruptured spleen as a result of the beating, was pronounced dead within a few hours.

    Williams was also convicted, along with Officer Matthew Dean Moore, of obstructing justice by writing and submitting a false and inaccurate incident report regarding their interactions with Robair. Moore was also convicted of one additional felony count for making false statements regarding the incident to FBI agents in March 2010.

    “Every community relies upon their police officers to protect and serve, but these officers abused their power, violating the law and the public trust,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “I am hopeful that today’s verdict brings a measure of justice to the victim’s family and the entire community.”

    “As we recognize Victims’ Rights this week, today’s verdict is evidence that we, and our partners in the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and FBI, are absolutely committed to bring those who have violated the sacred rights of our citizens to justice, in the hope that our pursuit will give the people of New Orleans confidence in the protection of honest and professional law enforcement,” said Jim Letten, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

    Williams faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison. Moore faces a possible maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

  5. “rafflaw 1, April 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Brian,
    How did your face get stuck to my billy club?

    Where do you see the fan hit in the face?

  6. “Blouise,

    That is the problem with giving officer immediate employment after a military stint…. they have no civilian training…they were trained that you have no rights and you give those up when you enlist…. makes for bad juju…”

    Point one, cops go through a police academy. Doesn’t matter if they are military vets.

    Point two, you do not give up your constitutional rights just because you are in the military. I was once interviewed as a witness, by military police, and they read the miranda rights to the witnesses. Military courts are noted for following the constitution and the rules more strictly than civilian courts.

    Enlist and learn what it is really like.

  7. Dear Mr. Turley,

    I almost agree with you. Two problems, number one is your fault. The video you posted is edited. You must know such a video would not be allowed as evidence. The music overlay prevents anyone from hearing what is going on, and the video edits are a clear indicator of fraudulent video in most cases.

    However, the link you posted leads to the original video. In that it’s still hard to figure out what is happening. The ‘perp’ is hit, but there is no way to tell if he is just saying something offensive, or something threatening.

    He had assaulted a park security guard, so if the officer was attempting to arrest him and he is refusing to be arrested that pretty well justifies hitting the citizen.

    We do not know what happened, we do know, if you look at that original blog post, that the person who took that video supports the police, not the drunken fan.

  8. You know these Police Officers are just trying to keep in shape and help their own batting average….. Come on just because they are in the bleachers doesn’t mean that they don’t want to stay in shape….

  9. Frank wrote:

    I do not believe that this sort of thing is a new phenomena, what is new is the presence of millions of video cameras. The white, middle and upper class society has been shielded from the reality of interaction with law enforcement. As children we were taught “policemen are your friends”. But any examination of the history of law enforcement shows that these stories, almost always ‘unverified’ happen with frightening regularity.

    Being a cop is a crumby job in a lot of ways; it eats at your soul and creates a mind-set that can justify all sorts of bad behavior.

    ——-

    While I agree with all of the above, what’s changed is the date — we’re clearly at a different point in history. In this post 9/11 era, the powers of the police have been expanded dramatically. With the Patriot Act, fusion centers, sophisticated tools, JTTFs, Infragard, increased surveillance…and the list goes on and on…, we’re headed for something that most good Americans won’t want when we get there. And we will get there. Unless something gives.

    Many in policing enjoy power and control. They have more of it than ever. And a good number of them are abusing their power.

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