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Protester Sues City, Three Pittsburgh Police Officers Claiming He Was Injured In Last Year's Protests

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - More than a year after the George Floyd protests in downtown Pittsburgh, a McKees Rocks man has filed a lawsuit against three unnamed Pittsburgh Police officers and the City of Pittsburgh.

The suit alleges John Connors was falsely arrested and subjected to excessive force.

His attorney, Timothy O'Brien says Connors was video recording the police response during the protests on May 30, 2020, and was wearing a "blue lives murder" t-shirt when he was allegedly injured by officers.

According to the complaint, officers arrested him and filed false criminal charges against him - including failure to disperse and disorderly conduct.

Connors was incarcerated for three days and then his charges were dismissed.

"It's a case that really typifies that when police are required to use restraint, they instead responded with retaliation," O'Brien said. "That shouldn't happen and this lawsuit is an effort to make sure it doesn't happen again. The takeaway is this has to stop, it's the 21st century, these kinds of police tactics should have been [ended] a long time ago and we shouldn't have to bring these lawsuits but we have and perhaps maybe this one will stop it from happening again."

O'Brien said that Connors suffered bruising injuries and has since recovered.

The suit also says that Connors "suffered personal injury, damage to his reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and humiliation."

"Mr. Connors's rights under the first amendment to engage in protected activity including recording the police performing their duties and his fourth amendment rights to be free from false arrests, the use of excessive force and malicious prosecution," O'Brien added. "Also, the lawsuit also contends what happened here was the direct result of the city of Pittsburgh not properly training its officers and having policies and practices that really allow them to commit these kinds of abuses with impunity."

The city's legal department has not responded to request for comment.

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