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Officer Involved In Teacher's Controversial Arrest Reassigned

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The arrest of a local teacher outside of a community meeting in Homewood led to protests outside the Pittsburgh Police Zone 5 station.

The charges were eventually dropped, but now the police officer involved in the arrest has been reassigned to desk duty. That has brought cries of foul from the police union.

Teacher Dennis Henderson was arrested and jailed after challenging the speed in which Officer Jonathan Gromek drove his police cruiser.

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office is withdrawing the charges, and now Gromek himself has been taken off the street and reassigned to the warrant office by Acting Chief Regina McDonald.

"He's in uniform, carrying a gun. He'll perform the duties down there as a police officer, but he will not be permitted to work the streets or work secondary employment at this time," said Chief McDonald.

That sounds like a disciplinary action to FOP President Michael LaPorte.

"On the surface, it certainly seems to be some type of discipline as if he somehow acted inappropriately," said LaPorte.

The FOP maintains that Gromek did nothing wrong in arresting Henderson, who Gromek charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing traffic.

"Under the circumstances surrounding the incident in Larimer, we can't explain why such a thing would happen, and when I questioned the chief yesterday, she simply said it was her decision," said LaPorte.

"It's not a disciplinary action. It's an action I felt appropriate at this time given the circumstances," Chief McDonald said.

McDonald says the transfer will remain in place at least until the completion of an internal investigation of the incident by the Office of Municipal Investigations.

"As it's a personnel issue, and it's under investigation and I'd rather not comment any further until that investigation is completed," said Chief McDonald.

D.A. Drops Charges Against Teacher Arrested Outside Community Meeting (7/9/13)
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