community-based, non-corporate, participatory media

About Contact Us Policies Mailing Lists Radio Video Publish! Calendar Search

View article without comments

Zappala refuses to prosecute killer cops
by papv Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2004 at 10:30 AM
justice@papv.org

District Attorney Zappala refuses to prosecute the cop who shot and killed Bernard Rogers.

Zappala refuses to p...
rogers.jpg, image/jpeg, 216x238

On Friday, October 8, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala announced that he will not prosecute the cops responsible for the shooting death of Bernard Rogers. According to Zappala's press release, "After thorough investigation and protracted public proceedings, substantial evidence indicates that ... Bernard Rogers sustained a fatal chest wound when he assaulted [the officers] and became involved in a struggle over an officer's weapon." This decision comes as a blow to Rogers' survivors and to People Against Police Violence who have spent almost two years fighting for justice in this case.

On November 15, 2002 three housing authority police, Tonyea Curry, Doug Butler and Artie Patterson, entered an apartment where two teenaged girls, and another man, were watching Television. Bernard Rogers had entered the apartment at the invitation of a resident of the unit, and was in the back of the apartment near the bathroom.

The officers testified that Bernard Rogers scuffled with police and that he was shot at close range on the love seat in the apartment. Several civilian witnesses testified that Bernard Rogers was shot as he ran down the stairs and out of the building. Forensic and ballistic evidence showed that only Curry fired his weapon, and that the shot entered Roger’s body in a downward direction.

On March 13, 2003, Allegheny County Coroner Cyril Wecht issued a 36 page report that concluded that there was “no justification for use of deadly force against Bernard Rogers" recommended that a general charge of homicide be filed against Tonyea Curry for the death of Bernard Rogers.? Since that time, the case had been in the hands of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. to decide to file charges.

However, on September 1, 2004, Coroner Wecht modified his recommendation and announced that is unclear whether or not Curry shot Rogers in the back and urged Zapalla to investigate further.

The "new evidence" that was cited and that Zappala used as his justification to do nothing is as follows. Wecht had and his forensic investigators conducted new tests at the scene and, according to those tests, now claimed that Rogers had not been shot as he fled down a flight of stairs. That shot, which witnesses said Butler fired, missed its target, according to the new testimony. In otherwords, Wecht now shifted his position and sided with the officers claim that Rogers' fatal wound was suffered during a close contact struggle with the officer in the living room before he fled. The bullet pierced Rogers' heart, major blood vessels and a lung, wounds that would ordinarily cause instantaneous death.

So what's mysterious is how Rogers was able to run a considerable distance from the cops before collapsing.

Wecht also cited evidence Rogers had marijuana in his system, which also reverses his earlier claim that Rogers had no drugs in his system. Why is that relevant? Because according to Wecht, marijuana use causes aggressive behavior. That also contradicts the vast majority of medical option concerning marijuana. When examining the relationship between marijuana use and violent crime, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded, "Rather than inducing violent or aggressive behavior through its purported effects of lowering inhibitions, weakening impulse control and heightening aggressive tendencies, marihuana was usually found to inhibit the expression of aggressive impulses by pacifying the user, interfering with muscular coordination, reducing psychomotor activities and generally producing states of drowsiness lethargy, timidity and passivity."

On October 22, PAPV will hold a major rally and demonstration.

add your comments


so sad
by Kamera Jackson Monday, Mar. 27, 2006 at 11:02 AM

I dont think that it was appropriate for the police to shoot. And all the evidence shows that he was shoot running down a flight of stairs. Another thing that doesnt sound right is the situation with the drugs. Either he had drugs or he didnt. Whenever you have to change a story to fit your side then your probably lying. Cause in a incident like this nothing should be changed.

add your comments


It's a career move
by Officer Down Tuesday, Mar. 28, 2006 at 5:20 AM

Zappala Jr. needs the Fraternal Order of Police to back him for his future aspirations, that's why he'll NEVER prosecute a cop for anything.
It's funny that his unsucessful attempts to remove Cyril Wecht for 'abusing his office for career gain' is a clear cut case of 'abusing his office for career gain'.
He couldn't pull it off, so he had to get the lady Mullah, Ashcroft's chambermaid, Mary Beth Buchanan, who specializes in Federal Sharia law to do it for him.
Wecht made problems for Junior with his pesky inquests, and the FOP made sure Junior got him out of there, if he wants to be state attorney general or whatever his career goal is.
The Colombian cartels knew how to treat these monsters...

add your comments


© 2001-2009 Pittsburgh Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not endorsed by the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center.
Disclaimer | Privacy