IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN
DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff
CITY OF PITTSBURGH, PITTSBURGH
BUREAU OF POLICE, and DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, Defendants.
CIVIL NO. _____________
1. The United States brings this action to enforce Section 210401 of the
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141.
The United States alleges that there is a pattern or practice of conduct by law
enforcement officers of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police that deprives persons of
rights, privileges, and immunities secured and protected by the Constitution and
laws of the United States.
2. The defendants in this action, collectively hereinafter the "City", are
the City of Pittsburgh, a municipality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police ("PBP"), a law enforcement agency operated by the
City of Pittsburgh; and the Department of Public Safety ("DPS"), a government
agency operated by the City of Pittsburgh, which oversees the PBP and other
agencies operated for the safety of persons in Pittsburgh.
3. This Court has jurisdiction of this action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and
1345. The United States is authorized to initiate this action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 14141. Venue is proper in the Western District of Pennsylvania
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391.
4. The City denies any and all allegations advanced by the United
States. The City acknowledges that allegations have been advanced against
the City relating to the City's management systems for training, misconduct
investigations, supervision, and discipline. The City denies such
allegations, however, the parties agree that the manner and means for avoiding
such claims is to achieve and maintain the best available practices and
procedures for police management.
5. The parties enter into this Decree jointly and for the exclusive purpose
of avoiding the risks and burdens of litigation.
6. This Consent Decree resolves all claims in the United States' Complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 14141, and resolves any claims the United States may have
regarding a pattern or practice of racial discrimination that could have been
raised at this time under 42 U.S.C. § 14141 or 42 U.S.C. § 3789d.
7. Nothing in this Consent Decree shall constitute or be construed as an
acknowledgment, agreement, admission, statement or evidence of liability of the
City under 42 U.S.C. § 14141 or 42 U.S.C. § 3789d, nor shall the Consent Decree
constitute or be construed as an acknowledgment, agreement, admission, statement
or evidence of any violation of applicable law or of the existence of a pattern
or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers of the City that deprives
persons of rights, privileges, and immunities secured or protected by the
Constitution and laws of the United States. Nothing in this Consent Decree
shall constitute or be construed as an acknowledgment, agreement,
admission, statement or evidence that the management system and/or systems
employed by the City prior to execution of this Consent Decree were in any
manner inadequate, unconstitutional or constituted deliberate indifference of
the City within any context, and in particular, within the context of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 or 42 U.S.C. § 14141. Nothing in this Consent Decree shall be
construed to impair the right of any person or organization to seek relief
against the City for its conduct or the conduct of its law enforcement
officers. Nothing in this Decree is intended to alter the collective
bargaining agreement between the City and the Fraternal Order of Police, Fort
Pitt Lodge No. 1.
8. The City hereby reaffirms and acknowledges its obligation to discourage
activity by City law enforcement officers which deprives persons of rights,
privileges, and immunities secured and protected by the Constitution and laws
of the United States.
9. This Consent Decree shall constitute the entire integrated agreement of
the parties. No prior or contemporaneous communications, oral or written,
or prior drafts shall be relevant or admissible for purposes of determining the
meaning of any provisions herein in any litigation or any other proceeding.
10. The City, by and through its officials, agents, employees, and successors
are enjoined from and shall not engage in a pattern or practice of conduct by
law enforcement officers of the PBP that deprives persons of rights, privileges,
and immunities secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United
11. The following definitions apply to this Decree:
a. The term
"body cavity search" means any search involving the visual inspection or the
internal physical examination of body cavities or organs such as the stomach
b. The term "complaint history" means a summary of all
misconduct complaints filed against a particular officer since 1986 and a
summary, with a narrative description of the allegations, of lawsuits filed
involving the officer as maintained in the automated early warning system
described in Paragraph 12 below.
c. The terms "document" and "record"
shall be interpreted to include "writings and recordings" as defined by
Federal Rules of Evidence Rule 1001(1).
d. The term "field training
officer" or "FTO" means an experienced police officer whose responsibilities
include providing on the job training and supervision of probationary police
officers and continual training of all police officers.
e. The terms
"police officer" or "officer" means any law enforcement officer employed by the
PBP, including supervisors and senior supervisors.
f. The term
"serious injury" means any injury that results in death or that the City has
reason to know requires or results in professional medical care or treatment.
g. The term "strip search" means any search of an individual requiring
the removal or rearrangement of some or all clothing to permit the visual
inspection of genitals, anus, breasts, buttocks, or undergarments.
The terms "supervisor" and "senior supervisor" mean a management or
non-management police officer with oversight responsibility for other
officers. The term "supervisor" shall include sergeants, lieutenants, and
other officers with similar responsibilities. The term "senior supervisor"
includes commanders, assistant chiefs, deputy chiefs, the Chief, and other
officers with similar responsibilities.
i. The term "zone" means a
geographic subdivision of the City of Pittsburgh used by the PBP to delineate
jurisdiction among police stations.
MANAGEMENT AND SUPERVISION
12. The United States acknowledges that the
City has taken steps to establish a database containing relevant information
about its officers, as well as a statistical model to identify and modify the
behavior of problem officers (also known as an "early warning system").
The City shall have an automated early warning system in place and operational
within twelve (12) months of entry of this Decree.
a. The City's
automated early warning system shall collect and record, at a minimum, the
following information about an officer: officer name and badge number; citizen
complaints, including textual descriptions of the allegations and all fields
entered by the City of Pittsburgh Office of Municipal Investigations
("OMI") described in Paragraph 44; hit and non-hit officer- involved
shootings; commendations and other indicia of positive performance; discipline
imposed and related file numbers; all training, reassignments, transfers and
mandatory counseling; status of any administrative appeals or grievances; a
detailed description of all criminal investigations of possible officer
misconduct; a detailed description of all civil or administrative claims filed
against the City arising from PBP operations; a description of all other civil
claims or suits that the officer is a named party to involving allegations of
untruthfulness, physical force, racial bias, or domestic violence; a description
of all lawsuits filed against the City, the PBP, or its officers arising from
PBP operations; all arrests with the location of each arrest, the race of each
arrestee, and the code violation(s); and searches and seizures as documented in
the search and seizure reports described in Paragraph 15; use of force as
documented in the use of force reports described in Paragraph 15; and traffic
stop information documented in the reports described in Paragraph 16.
b. The City's automated early warning system shall have, at a minimum,
the capability to retrieve information in the following categories: individual
officer; squad, zone, shift, or special unit; arrests by officer(s) and types of
arrests to determine the number of times a particular officer or groups of
officers have filed discretionary charges of resisting arrest, disorderly
conduct, public intoxication, or interfering with the administration of justice.
c. Data regarding an officer shall be maintained in the automated
early warning system during that officer's employment with the PBP and for
three (3) years after the officer leaves the PBP. Data regarding an
officer that is removed from the automated early warning system shall be
maintained in an archive indefinitely. The City shall input all data from
the OMI database and all other available data into the automated early warning
system for the three years prior to the entry of this Decree.
Within four (4) months of the entry of this Decree, the City shall develop a
written protocol governing the use of the automated early warning system.
This protocol shall specify, at a minimum: (i) the numbers and types of
incidents per officer requiring review by senior supervisors, the frequency of
these reviews, and the follow-up actions to be taken by PBP senior supervisors
based on information in the automated early warning system (including meeting
with the officer and recommending appropriate remedial training, counseling,
transfer, or re-assignment); (ii) re-training and re- certification
requirements; (iii) confidentiality and security provisions; and (iv) quality
assurance checks of data input. The City shall provide this protocol to
the United States for review and approval at least 30 days prior to its
implementation. If the parties are unable to agree on a written protocol,
the auditor described in Paragraph 70 shall have final authority to determine
e. Until full implementation of the automated early
warning system, the City shall continue to identify for review all officers with
three or more complaints of misconduct. Such review shall be documented
and result, where appropriate, in re-training, counseling, transfer or
13. The City shall develop and implement a use of force policy that is in
compliance with applicable law and current professional standards. Prior
to the implementation of such policy, the City shall provide the United States
an opportunity to review the proposed policy and provide comments.
14. PBP officers shall conduct strip searches in compliance with applicable
law and current professional standards. Specifically, PBP officers shall
conduct strip searches only when authorized by a supervisor or senior supervisor
and then only if specially trained to conduct strip searches. Such strip
searches shall be conducted in conformance with hygienic procedures and
practices, in a room specially designated for strip searches, by the fewest
number of personnel necessary all of whom must be of the same sex as the person
searched, and under conditions that provide privacy from all but those
authorized to conduct the search. Field strip searches of persons in
custody shall be conducted only in exigent circumstances where the life of
officers or others may be at risk, and only in privacy with the explicit
approval of a supervisor or senior supervisor.
15. The City shall develop,
and require all officers to complete, a written report each time a PBP officer
(a) exercises a use of force; (b) performs a warrantless search (excluding
searches incident to arrests, frisks, and pat downs); (c) performs a body cavity
search or strip search; and (d) conducts any warrantless seizure of property
(excluding towing vehicles). The record shall include the officer's name
and badge number; description of incident; the specific type of use of force,
search or seizure; description of any injuries and medical/hospital data; name,
race and gender of all persons involved in the use of force, search or
seizure; names and contact information for all witnesses; any weapons, evidence,
or contraband found during the search; whether the individual involved in the
use of force, search or seizure was arrested or cited, and if so, the charges;
date, time, and location of the incident and search or seizure; and the
signatures of the officer and his immediate supervisor.
16. The City shall develop, and require all officers to complete, a written
report each time a PBP officer makes a traffic stop. The record shall
include the officer's name and badge number; the race and gender of the
individual searched or stopped; approximate time and location; whether the stop
involved a frisk or pat-down search; any weapons, evidence, or contraband found
during the search; whether the individual involved was arrested or cited, and if
so, the charges.
17. Data captured on the reports described above in Paragraphs 15 and 16
shall be entered into the City's automated early warning system. Hard
copies of these reports shall be maintained by OMI.
18. The City shall conduct regular audits and reviews of the uses of force by
all officers. PBP supervisors and senior supervisors shall have an
affirmative obligation to act on this data with the goal of preventing the use
of excessive force. Such actions shall include, at a minimum:
Each use of force report prepared as required by Paragraph 15 above shall be
reviewed by the reporting officer's chain of command within one week of the use
of force. Senior supervisors shall refer to OMI for investigation all
incidents where a use of force report reasonably indicates a possible violation
of PBP policies; OMI shall investigate all such incidents. OMI
shall also investigate, and issue findings regarding the appropriateness of, all
incidents resulting in serious injury where a use of force report was required
to be completed.
b. PBP senior supervisors shall analyze use of force
data from the automated early warning system on a quarterly, cumulative basis to
detect trends in PBP use of force. The analysis shall include a review by
officer, by injury, and by type of force used. PBP senior supervisors
shall act on this data to ensure that PBP officers are using appropriate types
and amounts of force.
19. The City shall conduct regular audits and reviews of search and seizure
practices by all officers. PBP supervisors and senior supervisors shall
have an affirmative obligation to act on this data with the goal of preventing
improper search and seizure practices by their officers. Such actions
shall include, at a minimum:
a. Each search and seizure report
prepared as required by Paragraph 15 above shall be reviewed by the reporting
officer's chain of command within one week of the search or seizure.
Senior supervisors shall refer to OMI for investigation all incidents where a
search and seizure report reasonably indicates a probable violation of PBP
policies; OMI shall investigate all such incidents. OMI shall also
investigate, and issue findings regarding the appropriateness of, all strip
searches, all body cavity searches, and all incidents resulting in serious
injury where a search and seizure report was required to be completed.
b. PBP senior supervisors shall analyze search and seizure data from
the automated early warning system on a quarterly, cumulative basis to detect
trends in PBP search or seizure practices. The analysis shall include a
review by officer, by injury, and by type of search or seizure used. PBP
senior supervisors shall act on this data to ensure that PBP officers are using
appropriate types and methods of searches and seizures.
20. The City shall conduct regular audits and reviews of potential racial
bias, including use of racial epithets, by all officers. PBP supervisors
and senior supervisors shall have an affirmative obligation to act on this data
with the goal of eliminating actions that reflect racial bias by officers.
Such actions shall include, at a minimum:
a. Each citizen or other
complaint of racial bias by officers shall be reviewed by the accused officer's
chain of command within one week of completion of the OMI investigation.
b. PBP senior supervisors shall analyze racial bias and racial epithet
data from the automated early warning system on a quarterly, cumulative basis to
detect trends of possible PBP racial bias or racial epithets. The analysis
should include: a review by officer, by use of force reports and complaints,
search and seizure reports and complaints, traffic stops, discretionary arrests
(resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, or interfering with
the administration of justice), racial epithets, or other indicators of possible
21. After evaluating the most recent quarterly reports described in
Paragraphs 18(b), 19(b), 20(b) above and evaluating an officer's complaint
history, the City shall, at a minimum:
a. Require and provide
appropriate remedial training, assignment to an FTO, counseling, transfer,
and/or reassignment to all officers: (i) as required in the protocol developed
in Paragraph 12(d); (ii) who have had three (3) or more complaints containing
allegations of similar types of misconduct (e.g., verbal abuse, excessive force,
improper search and seizure) within the last two years, whether the complaints
are sustained or not; and (iii) who have had five or more complaints of any kind
within the last two years, whether the complaints are sustained or not.
Such training, counseling, transfer, and/or reassignment shall address the type
of misconduct alleged.
b. Impose appropriate discipline on each
officer against whom a complaint is sustained as soon as possible after the OMI
disposition. Except where the discipline is termination, remedial training
or counseling shall also be imposed on each officer against whom a complaint is
sustained. Where appropriate, transfer and reassignment shall also be
imposed on each officer against whom a complaint is sustained. Where
appropriate, remedial training, counseling, transfer, or reassignment shall be
required of each officer where a complaint is disposed of by a disposition other
c. For each officer against whom a complaint is
sustained, consider an officer's prior record of complaints and the immediate
misconduct when determining discipline. Prior remedial training,
counseling, discipline, transfer, or reassignment for allegations of related
misconduct shall be used in assessing the severity of the discipline
imposed. Each disciplinary recommendation shall include the name of the
officer, the date(s) discipline was imposed, any OMI file number or other
related cross-references, and a detailed description of the factors considered
in determining the particular penalty selected.
22. Within 60 days of the entry of this Decree, the City shall include in the
PBP's central personnel files and OMI files an officer's disciplinary actions as
described in Paragraph 21(c), and all underlying and supporting
documentation. Each commander shall continue to maintain a zone personnel
file on each officer under his or her command. This zone personnel file
shall include all disciplinary action reports ("DARs") and all OMI and non-OMI
complaints against the officer.
23. The United States recognizes that the PBP has developed a program to
conduct annual performance evaluations. The PBP shall require annual
performance evaluations of all officers, supervisors, and senior
supervisors. The performance evaluation shall be in writing and shall
fully explain the weight and substance of all factors used to evaluate an
officer. At a minimum:
a. Supervisors and senior supervisors
shall be evaluated on their ability to monitor, deter, and appropriately address
misconduct by officers they supervise; and
b. The PBP shall evaluate
each officer on the basis of his or her complaint history, focusing on patterns
24. In addition to the Civil Service guidelines, the performance evaluations
shall be considered as one of the factors in making promotions.
25. The City shall continue to provide an employee assistance program
("EAP"). This program shall at a minimum provide counseling and stress
management services to officers. This program shall be staffed by
sufficient licensed and certified counselors who are trained and experienced in
addressing psychological and emotional problems common to police
officers. The City shall publicize the availability of these
services to all officers. The City shall authorize officers to attend
counseling without any adverse actions taken against them. The City shall
refer officers to, but not require their participation in, EAP counseling where
the City believes an officer's job performance may benefit from EAP
services. These provisions are separate from any counseling the City may
require as part of its "Track III" mandatory counseling program.
26. The City shall require all officers to notify the City when the officers
have been arrested, criminally charged, or named as a party in any civil suit
involving allegations of untruthfulness, physical force, racial bias, or
domestic violence. The City and PBP management shall monitor all such
civil litigation and all criminal prosecutions of officers.
shall discipline and appropriately re-train, counsel, re-assign, or transfer
officers found guilty or liable by a court or jury.
b. OMI shall
independently investigate and make findings on all incidents giving rise to the
litigation or prosecution where the court or jury does not find the officer
guilty or liable, even when the complaint is withdrawn or settled.
Such litigation and investigations shall be reflected in the early warning
system described in Paragraph 12 and an officer's complaint history.
27. OMI shall monitor all criminal proceedings containing allegations of
false arrests or improper searches or seizures by PBP officers. Officers
determined by a court to have falsely arrested an individual or conducted an
improper search or seizure shall be disciplined, retrained, counseled,
transferred, or reassigned, as the circumstances warrant. Such litigation
and investigations, as well as the management response, shall be documented and
reflected in the early warning system described in Paragraph 12 and an officer's
28. PBP shall continue to discipline, re-train, counsel, transfer, or
reassign officers who are the subject of civil litigation settled by the City
prior to adjudication, as the circumstances and OMI investigation warrant.
29. The City shall continue to provide its officers with access to a legal
advisor twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. The legal advisor
shall be an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This
legal advisor shall provide officers with regular training and counseling on
legal issues and requirements, including the use of force, searches and
seizures, and racial bias.
30. The City shall develop and implement a rotation schedule that ensures
that officers regularly are supervised by and work with different officers.
31. The United States recognizes that PBP officer
representatives attend meetings of community groups within their zone. The
PBP shall continue to make every effort to participate in these meetings,
including meetings organized by or oriented towards minorities.
32. OMI shall continue to use television to inform the public about OMI's
function. OMI representatives shall continue to attend community meetings
to increase public awareness of OMI. The City shall continue to
publish, and shall distribute at various places throughout the city, pamphlets
describing the OMI complaint process.
33. The United States recognizes that the PBP has provided
training to all officers in cultural diversity. The City shall continue to
provide all officers with annual training by qualified instructors that
includes, at a minimum, training on how to relate to persons from different
racial, ethnic, and religious groups, and persons of the opposite sex.
The City shall also provide training in communications skills and avoiding
improper racial, ethnic, and sexual communications.
34. The PBP shall monitor complaints of police misconduct to gauge the
effectiveness of training and to detect the need for new or further training.
35. The PBP shall train all officers in the use of verbal de- escalation
techniques as an alternative to the use of force, and shall incorporate such
techniques into all other training that implicates the use of force. Such
training shall include specific examples of situations that do not require the
use of force, but may be commonly mishandled, resulting in force being used (for
example, individuals verbally challenging an officer's authority or asking for
an officer's identifying information).
36. The PBP shall train all officers in integrity and ethics, cultural
diversity, and verbal de-escalation techniques at the beginning of the academy
training curriculum to serve as a foundation for all other classes.
37. The PBP shall train all officers in integrity, ethics, the PBP's missions
and values statements, and cultural diversity. This training shall occur
at least annually and shall cover the duties of truthfulness and reporting
misconduct by fellow officers, the importance of avoiding misconduct, and
38. The PBP shall instruct all officers in the OMI complaint process and
their obligation to cooperate with OMI investigations.
39. The City shall encourage highly qualified candidates to apply for
instructor and FTO positions. The City shall establish formal eligibility
criteria for instructors and FTOs based on their performance evaluations and
previous superior performance as police officers. The City shall
disqualify any instructor or FTO, or candidate for those positions, with a poor
disciplinary record or complaint history.
40. The City shall ensure that all training instructors and FTOs receive
adequate training to enable them to carry out their duties. Training
instructors and FTOs shall be required to maintain, and demonstrate on a
regular basis, their proficiency in their areas of instruction. The City
shall maintain current documentation of instructors' and FTOs' proficiency and
41. The City shall maintain written records documenting all training of
officers. At a minimum, these records shall reflect the name of the
officer, the dates of the training, the reasons for any mandatory training
(including any OMI file number or other related cross references), the general
subject matter of the training (including lesson plans where available), and
whether the training was completed satisfactorily.
42. The City shall maintain written records documenting all mandatory
counseling of officers. At a minimum, these records shall reflect the
name of the officer, the reasons for the referral (including any OMI file number
or other related cross references), the general subject matter of the mandatory
counseling, and whether the mandatory counseling sessions were attended.
43. The City shall provide all senior supervisors with mandatory annual
supervisory and leadership training, which includes command accountability,
integrity, and cultural diversity.
COMPLAINT AND INVESTIGATION PROCESS
44. OMI shall
continue to enter all complaints and investigations of misconduct into a
computerized database recording incidents occurring since 1986. This
database, in addition to the requirements described in Paragraph 12, shall
include the file number, the names of all involved officers, contact information
for all officers and complainants, the race and gender of all involved officers
and complainants, a textual description of the allegations, significant dates,
the street address and zone of the incident, and the disposition of the
complaint. When the City prepares a complaint history from the automated
early warning system, it shall include, at a minimum, the officer's name, the
OMI file number, the date of the incident, a textual description of the
allegations, and the disposition. The actual investigation files shall be
maintained for at least ten years from the date of the disposition of the
complaint; except for investigation files disposed as "unfounded", which shall
be kept for at least one year. All information in the OMI database shall
be maintained during that officer's employment with the PBP and for three (3)
years after the officer leaves the PBP. Data regarding an officer that is
removed from the OMI database shall be maintained in an archive indefinitely.
45. OMI files and records relating to a particular officer shall be available
to personnel within that officer's chain of command who are responsible for that
officer's training, counseling, or discipline.
46. OMI shall continue to maintain a manual detailing its policies and
investigative procedures. The City shall ensure that all OMI
investigators receive adequate training in these policies and procedures to
enable them to carry out their duties, including training in proper techniques
for questioning individuals. The PBP shall provide all OMI civilian
investigators with police academy training and re- training in PBP policies and
procedures including, but not limited to, use of force, searches and seizures,
pursuits, transporting individuals in custody, restraints, arrests (including
discretionary arrests), traffic stops, racial bias, report writing, and other
relevant policies and procedures; investigative and interview techniques;
cultural sensitivity; ethics, integrity, professionalism and the missions and
values statement. Such training shall be identical to that received by OMI
police investigators. Investigators shall be evaluated based on their
competency in following the policies and procedures for investigations.
The City shall make the OMI manual of policies and procedures available for
inspection by the public and officers at OMI headquarters and at each PBP
Filing a Complaint
47. Complainants may initiate a complaint against an
officer either in person or by telephone, mail, or facsimile transmission.
Complainants shall not be required to file a complaint "form" to initiate an
investigation. Complainants may be required to provide information
available to them to enable OMI to identify the police officer(s) involved and
the incident giving rise to the complaint.
48. A complainant may file an anonymous verbal or written complaint.
OMI shall accept and investigate complaints filed by individuals other than the
alleged victim of misconduct (third-party complaints). OMI shall ask
anonymous and third-party complainants for corroborating evidence. OMI
shall investigate anonymous complaints to the fullest extent possible to
determine whether the complaint is corroborated. The City shall continue
to require officers to report misconduct by other officers. Misconduct by
fellow officers shall be reported directly to OMI or through an officer's chain
49. OMI shall not close an investigation without rendering a disposition
solely because the complainant withdraws the complaint or is unavailable to
make a statement. OMI shall investigate such complaints to the fullest
extent possible to determine whether the complaint is corroborated.
50. OMI offices shall be relocated to other suitable City office space and
shall be separate from any building occupied by PBP personnel. This new
facility shall be convenient to public transportation. OMI shall publicize
the relocation of its offices.
51. No complainant shall be required to go to a police station, any police
building or OMI office to file a complaint or provide a statement. The
City shall hold quarterly open meetings in rotating zones to educate the public
about proper police functions; police misconduct, including excessive use of
force, improper searches and seizures; and the proper methods for filing
complaints against police officers. The City shall require OMI personnel
to receive complaints at these quarterly open meetings. At least one week
before such quarterly meetings, the City shall publish the telephone number of
OMI and the time and location of each quarterly meeting in a prominent location
in all City buildings. Complaints received by OMI personnel at such
meetings may relate to any misconduct within the jurisdiction of OMI and shall
be treated like any other OMI complaint.
52. OMI shall notify the senior supervisors of an accused officer whenever a
complaint has been filed against that officer alleging use of excessive force,
improper search or seizure, or racial bias.
53. OMI shall be responsible for investigating all complaints. OMI
shall monitor and be responsible for the progress and completeness of all
investigations, including those it delegates for investigation. There
shall be no discretion by any OMI staff to not accept a complaint. The
City shall not permit any PBP officer to attempt to settle an OMI complaint
through informal means without prior notice to, and approval by, OMI. OMI
shall document all officer- initiated settlements of citizen complaints, and
such documentation shall become part of the permanent OMI file.
54. PBP officers shall continue to be required to provide their name and
badge number to any individual who requests it. Refusal to provide this
identifying information shall result in disciplinary action against the officer.
55. If complainants or witnesses are unavailable
to be interviewed at OMI offices during business hours, OMI investigators shall
offer to interview them at alternate sites and times, including at residences or
places of business, and during reasonable weekend or after business
hours. OMI investigators shall provide reasonable notice before all
56. All interviews of complainants, involved officers, and witnesses shall be
tape-recorded and transcribed. These tapes shall be maintained and kept as
part of the OMI investigative file. If a complainant or witness refuses to
be tape-recorded, then OMI shall prepare a written narrative of the statement to
be signed by the complainant or witness. OMI shall not conduct group
interviews. OMI shall not accept a "special report" or written statement
from any officer in lieu of an interview. OMI investigators shall have the
authority to question all interviewees and to challenge their version of the
57. In order to interview officers, OMI investigators shall obtain, and the
PBP shall provide full access to, information from the automated early warning
system and the following information regarding the accused officer and officer
witnesses: performance evaluations, assignment history, and
58. Supervisors and senior supervisors on the scene of incidents that result
in a misconduct complaint shall be interviewed. Supervisors and
senior supervisors shall be required to detail their handling of the situation
during and after the alleged incident and their observations of the complainant
and accused officers.
59. OMI investigators shall canvass the scene of an incident for witnesses as
soon as possible after receiving a complaint of misconduct where the evidence on
hand is insufficient to conduct a complete investigation of the complaint and
where canvassing the scene could reasonably yield additional information.
60. OMI shall review reports of firearm discharges prepared by the PBP and
reports prepared pursuant to a coroner's inquest regarding all deaths caused by
an officer and make a finding about whether any misconduct occurred during the
incident. The City shall appropriately discipline, re-train, counsel,
transfer, or re-assign officers involved in such incidents, as the circumstances
and OMI finding warrant.
61. OMI shall itself aggressively collect all appropriate evidence to
document each incident of potential misconduct, or any injury of a complainant,
including medical records and photographs of injuries. OMI shall not
require complainants or other witnesses to provide evidence that OMI itself can
62. OMI shall assess the propriety of all officer conduct during an incident
it investigates. If during the course of an OMI investigation, the OMI
investigator has reason to believe that misconduct other than that alleged by
the complainant has occurred, OMI must investigate and make findings with
respect to such misconduct. If, during the course of its investigation,
OMI has reason to inquire whether an officer had the requisite probable cause
for any stop, search or seizure, or arrest relevant to the complaint under
investigation, OMI shall rely on any probable cause determinations made by a
court of competent jurisdiction. If OMI finds that no court of competent
jurisdiction has made a probable cause determination, OMI shall request the
district attorney's office to make the probable cause determination.
63. At the conclusion of each investigation, OMI shall issue a final report
describing the alleged misconduct, any other misconduct identified during the
course of the investigation, a summary of all evidence gathered during the
investigation (including an explanation for the absence of any evidence),
documentation of all credibility determinations, OMI's findings with respect to
all potential misconduct, the accused officer's complaint history, and the
analysis supporting OMI's finding. The final report shall be made a part
of the investigation file.
64. The City shall provide OMI with sufficient staff, funds, and resources to
perform the functions required by this Decree. The City shall encourage
highly qualified candidates to become OMI police investigators. The City
shall establish formal eligibility criteria for OMI police investigators based
on their previous superior performance as police officers, including management
potential. The City shall disqualify OMI police investigator candidates
with poor disciplinary records and complaint histories. OMI police
investigators shall serve terms in OMI not exceeding three years.
Adjudicating the Complaint
65. OMI shall continue to make findings based
on a "preponderance of the evidence" standard.
66. There shall be no automatic preference of an officer's statement over a
complainant's statement. In making credibility determinations, OMI
investigators shall consider the officer's history of complaints (including
those with dispositions other than "sustained") and disciplinary records and
the complainant's criminal history for crimes involving untruthfulness.
Such credibility determinations shall be explained fully in writing.
67. Final authority and responsibility for determining the disposition of a
complaint shall rest with OMI. The accused officers' supervisors and senior
supervisors shall not have the authority to modify or reverse any OMI
disposition of a complaint.
68. OMI shall change the classification of "Not Sustained" to "Not Resolved."
69. OMI shall continue to issue quarterly statistical report of
investigations filed with OMI. Such reports shall include each
investigation's significant dates, general allegations, disposition, and any
70. Within 90 days after the entry of this Decree, the City shall
appoint an independent auditor who shall report on a quarterly basis the City's
compliance with each provision of this Consent Decree. The auditor shall
be an agent of the Court and shall not be retained by any current or future
litigant or claimant in a claim or suit against the City or its officers.
The auditor shall not issue statements or make findings with regard to any act
or omission of PBP, OMI, or the City, except as required by the terms of this
Decree. The auditor may testify in court regarding any matter relating to
the implementation, enforcement, or dissolution of this Decree. The
auditor shall be acceptable to both parties. If the parties are unable to
agree on an auditor, each party shall submit two names, along with resumes or
curricula vitae and cost proposals, to the Court and the Court shall appoint the
auditor from among the names submitted. The City shall bear all costs of
71. The auditor shall perform quality assurance checks of OMI
investigations. The City shall provide the auditor with full access to all
OMI staff and records (including databases, files, and quarterly statistical
summaries), the automated early warning system described in Paragraph 12, all
information regarding officer use of force and searches and seizures (including
the use of force reports required by Paragraph 15, and the search and seizure
reports required by paragraph 15), all information required in Paragraph 16,
and all relevant City manuals of policies and procedures that the auditor deems
necessary to fulfill his or her duties, as defined below. The auditor
shall review and evaluate the following information, and issue a quarterly
report to the parties and the Court describing the review and analysis:
a. All OMI final reports as described in Paragraph 63, and all
remedial training and disciplinary records described in Paragraphs 41 and
21(c). The City shall forward all OMI final reports and all disciplinary
and training records to the auditor immediately upon their completion.
b. The substance and timeliness of at least 50% of all OMI
investigations completed during each quarter of the City's fiscal year.
c. Statistical information on the number and types of complaints of
PBP misconduct, the timeliness of the investigations, the disposition, and any
remedial training, counseling, discipline, transfers, or reassignments.
d. Discipline, remedial training, mandatory counseling, transfers, and
reassignments actually imposed as a result of each complaint.
Officer use of force, searches and seizures, and traffic stops.
72. OMI shall re-open for further investigation all investigations the
auditor determines to be incomplete. The auditor shall provide written
instructions for completing the investigation.
73. Ninety (90) days following entry of this Decree and every six (6) months
thereafter until this Decree is terminated, the City shall file with the Court
and the auditor, with a copy to the United States, a status report delineating
all steps taken during the reporting period to comply with each provision of
this Decree. The City shall state whether any internal or external audits
of the PBP or DPS functions that relate to the PBP have been performed and will
summarize the subject matter and results of such reports. The City shall
provide the United States with copies of these reports or audits upon request.
74. The City shall maintain all records necessary to document their
compliance with all terms of this Decree. The City shall also maintain
any and all records required by or developed under this Consent Decree.
75. During all times while the Court maintains jurisdiction over this action,
the auditor shall have unrestricted access to and, upon request made to the City
Solicitor, receive copies of any documents and any databases relating to the
implementation of this Decree. The auditor shall, with 48 hour prior
written notice to the City Solicitor, have access to all staff and facilities as
necessary to monitor the City's compliance with the terms of this Decree.
76. During all times while the Court maintains jurisdiction over this action,
the United States shall have access to and, upon request made to the City
Solicitor, receive copies of any documents and any databases necessary to
evaluate compliance with this Decree. The United States shall provide
written notice to the City Solicitor, to obtain access to all staff and
facilities as necessary to evaluate the City's compliance with the terms of this
Decree. Such access shall be provided in a reasonable time, place, and
77. The City shall immediately provide copies of, and explain
the terms of this Decree to all current and future officers, OMI employees, and
all DPS employees with oversight or responsibility for PBP operations, in order
to ensure that they understand the requirements of this Decree and the
necessity for its strict compliance. All such individuals shall sign a
statement indicating that they have read and understand this Decree and
acknowledge receiving an individual copy of the Decree. These statements
shall be retained by the City.
78. Except where otherwise specifically indicated, the City shall implement
all provisions of this Decree within 90 days after entry of this Decree.
79. The Court shall retain jurisdiction of this action for all purposes
during the term of this Decree. At any time after five (5) years from the
date of entry of this Decree, and after substantial compliance has been
maintained for no less than two years, the City may move to terminate this
Decree. Any motion to terminate must detail all aspects of the City's
compliance with each provision of this Decree, supported by affidavits and
supporting documentation. The United States shall have ninety (90) days
from receipt of the City's motion to terminate to file its objection(s).
In the event the United States files objections to the City's motion, the
Decree shall remain in effect at least until entry of a court order disposing
of the motion and thereafter as dictated by the court's order. In the
event the United States objects to termination of the Decree, the Court shall
hold a hearing, at which both parties may present evidence, before ruling on the
City's motion to terminate. At the hearing, the burden shall be on the
City to demonstrate that it has fully and faithfully implemented all provisions
of this Consent Decree and maintained substantial compliance for at least two
80. No changes, modifications, or amendments of this
Consent Decree shall be effective unless they are ordered by the Court.
81. All correspondence with the City concerning this
Consent Decree shall be addressed to:
City of Pittsburgh Department of Law
414 Grant Street
82. The parties agree to defend the provisions of this
Consent Decree. The parties shall notify each other of any court challenge
to this Decree. In the event any provision of this Consent Decree is
challenged in any local or state court, removal to a federal court shall be
83. In the event any provision of this Consent Decree is declared invalid for
any reason by a Court of competent jurisdiction, said finding shall not affect
the remaining provisions of this Decree.
We consent and seek entry of this Decree:
For the United States of America:
ISABELLE KATZ PINZLER, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights
FREDERICK W. THIEMAN, United States Attorney, Western District of
(PA ID #26507)
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM, Chief, Special Litigation
Section, Civil Rights Division
AMY R. HAY, Chief, Civil Division, U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District
(PA ID #36623)
633 U.S. Post Office and
7th and Grant Streets
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
KEN NAKATA (PA ID #54400)
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
P.O. Box 66400
Washington, D.C. 20035-6400
For the Defendants:
JACQUELINE R. MORROW
Assistant City Solicitor
City of Pittsburgh
Department of Law
313 City County Building
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
SO ORDERED this _______ day of _______, 1997.
United States District Court Judge