MCKEESPORT, PA – The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas against the city of McKeesport, Allegheny County, and numerous named and unnamed police officers, among others, regarding the violation of some McKeesport residents’ Fourth Amendment rights and the Pennsylvania Constitution during a police search for a shooting suspect in December of 2020.
On December 20, 2020, police from McKeesport and Allegheny County began an aggressive manhunt for a suspect wanted in the shooting of a police officer. The search targeted Black residents of McKeesport with abusive tactics, such as brandishing firearms, demanding entry into homes at gunpoint without a warrant, and using excessive force during traffic stops. White residents of McKeesport reported being treated far less harshly.
“The way the city of McKeesport and Allegheny County police officers treated Black residents in McKeesport in December of 2020 is unconscionable,” said Solomon Furious Worlds, staff attorney at the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “Due process and the constitutional right to privacy were tossed aside by police during numerous unlawful searches, making many of McKeesport’s Black residents feel like they were being terrorized by a militarized police force. Police can’t use a shooting as an excuse to just pick and choose which elements of the Constitution they want to follow.”
The lawsuit seeks to hold line officers and high ranking decision-makers within both the city of McKeesport and the Allegheny County police departments accountable for their unnecessary, unlawful, and unconstitutional actions by asking for compensatory damages and injunctive relief.
You can read the full lawsuit at aclupa.org/McKeesport_Police