Update: Pittsburgh Mayor Plans to Fire Officer For Taser Incident Filmed By Moon Resident
The Moon Township man videotaped the incident and uploaded to social media.
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Monday morning that he intends to fire a police detective involved in a confrontation with a Ross Township man over the weekend.
"Somebody better give me a pretty good reason as to why he should not be fired," the mayor told the P-G.
Sam Urick of Moon recorded Detective Frank Rende Saturday outside the Claddagh Irish Pub on the South Sideholding a Taser to Mark Keyser Jr., 27, of Ross Township.
Rende wrote in a criminal complaint that he held the Taser to Keyser's neck but did not activate it. Rende wrote that Keyser was drunk and fell over into a white plastic fence because he lost his balance, the P-G reported.
Video of the incident was posted on social media the next day. Click here to see it. (Warning: the video contains offensive language.)
In a criminal complaint, Rende wrote that the manager of the pub had asked him to remove a man from the bar. Rende wrote that he asked Keyser to leave after noting the man had glassy eyes and smelled of alcohol, the Post-Gazette reported.
The detective wrote that he warned Mr. Keyser to leave several times, adding that if he didn't do so, he'd pull out his Taser and use it. The detective wrote that Mr. Keyser said, "Go ahead."
In the video, Urick identifies himself as a lawyer.
Elizabeth Pittinger, director of Pittsburgh's Citizen Police Review Board, told the Post-Gazette that when she watched the video, it seemed clear to her that Mr. Keyser had walked away when Detective Rende approached him with the Taser.
"I don't know why the officer pursued him," Ms. Pittinger said. "That's totally inappropriate."
According to the Post-Gazette, Detective Rende has been accused at least a dozen times of conduct unbecoming an officer, including verbal abuse and excessive force.
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