A wild video posted online over the weekend captured the moment a black police officer punched a Black Lives Matter protester at a rally in Pittsburgh.
Seth Taylor, a three year member of the Wilkinsburg Police Department, was snapped punching a protester identified as Vuestro Merced after they intervened while officers were trying to detain another protester, according to Pittsburgh City Paper.
Video published online shows officers trying to apprehend a woman who was backing away and shouting obscenities as Merced pushed toward them and grabbed at them.
Taylor then swung at Merced, forcing them to the ground as muzzled police dogs were kept away as they called the officer a ‘f****** pig.’
Merced was then led into a police vehicle, stumbling as they walked, as one woman recording the incident could be heard screaming at the arresting officers – both of whom were black – ‘this is what people do to fight for black people, and this is what these pigs do in the street.’
Merced was later released from police custody, another protester Tweeted later. It is unclear what, if anything, they are charged with.
Seth Taylor, a three year member of the Wilkinsburg Police Department, was snapped punching a protester identified as Vuestro Merced after they intervened while officers were trying to detain another protester
The altercation came as a group of about 20 protesters demanded justice for Jim Rogers, a 56-year-old black man who died in the hospital in October hours after he was Tased multiple times by police officers.
The purpose of the march, organizer Eve Pfeiffer said in a statement was two-fold. ‘On the one hand, we intend to march to honor Jim’s life and who he was as a person.
‘On the other, we march to demand that the city and county officials act immediately in charging and firing all of the officers and EMS officials who are culpable in this horrible act of brutality and injustice,’ she said, according to Pittsburgh City Paper.
The group marched through the city and into Wilkinson on Saturday.
Video taken by Jared Wickerham, who followed the group on their trek, showed them walking in the middle of the streets as they screamed ‘One solution: Revolution’ and ‘Pittsburgh police – enemies of the people.’
By the time they arrived at the intersection of Penn Avenue and Center Street in Wilkinsburg, where Rogers’ niece, Diamond, was set to talk about her uncle, the group was confronted by a group of police officers who declared their protest an ‘unlawful assembly.’
The altercation came as a group of about 20 protesters demanded justice for Jim Rogers, a 56-year-old black man who died in the hospital in October hours after he was Tased multiple times by police officers
Members of the protest tried to confront the officer, City Paper reports, apparently upset that they were interrupting Diamond’s speech.
The officer then explained that they were not allowed in the intersection while demolition was going on nearby, to which the protesters could be heard in the video repeatedly yelling ‘F*** you’ as another woman claimed it was her First Amendment right to protest.
Once the officer who gave the orders for the group to disperse from the street came out of his vehicle, several other officers joined in the effort to get everyone onto the sidewalk, according to City Paper.
But some of the protesters continued to fight back, with one woman and her daughter pushing back against Taylor and another officer City Paper identified as Chris Duncan.
That is when Merced intervened, leading to the altercation.
‘Next thing you know, there was a commotion in the street and one of the Wilkinsburg officers, he punched one of the protestors in the face,’ Lanai Clark, who recorded the incident, told WFAE.
‘You could hear it, it was really loud he punched her and she went down on the ground.’
Jim Rogers, 56, was fatally Tased by Pittsburgh police officers in October
The protesters, have since released a statement to WFAE saying: ‘We are not interested in engaging with the police or various municipalities’ narratives of dividing so-called good protestors from so-called bad ones.
‘Any one on the ground at the march today, who has to experience the police attack us, or are now viewing it through it’s being shared on the press or social media can see clearly that those who wield violence are the police.
‘We stand in solidarity and send love to the people who were harmed and arrested, Jim Rogers family, and those who have had to bear witness to this horrible incident in our community.
‘We will continue to care for one another and fight for Justice for Jim Rogers and for all victims of police brutality and anti-black violence.’
Five Pittsburgh officers have already been fired over Rogers’ death, which a coroner classified as accidental and resulting from a lack of oxygen to the brain after he was shocked multiple times.
Three others who had been suspended following his death have since been able to return to their jobs.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk