Protesters Call For Removal Of Officer Involved In Leon Ford Shooting
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Dozens of people protested Friday night, singing the national anthem and demanding for justice for Leon Ford.
Ford is paralyzed after a Pittsburgh Police officer shot him five times during a traffic stop.
"No justice, no peace, get Derbish off the street," chanted protesters.
It started as a rally in East Liberty. They were calling for the dismissal of officer David Derbish.
He's the officer who fired five shots in to Leon Ford after Ford fled from a traffic stop.
"Not one more, this stops today," protesters also chanted. "Black lives matter, black lives matter."
But the rally soon turned into a march that shut down one land of busy Highland Avenue. It was a long trek from East Liberty to the Zone 5 police station, where police were prepared.
They sealed off the station, but allowed the protest to continue.
The crowd was a mix of black and white protesters and it remained peaceful. But they had some harsh things to say about Zone 5, calling it the most racist police station in the city.
That's not so, according to a Zone 5 commander.
"If you're in need, you call 911 and we're coming no matter what you think of us," said Cmdr. Timothy O'Connor. "We'll be there for you."
Friday night, at least, police were there for the demonstrators, keeping them safe in the street and defending their right to speak out.
"A lot of us in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, we're military veterans," O'Connor said. "We spent years of our lives guaranteeing them the freedom so they could do this tonight."
Zone 5 is also the same station where three officers were gunned down in an ambush about 5-and-a-half years ago.
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