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Police keep responding to protests against police violence by committing acts of police violence and then they wonder why protests against police violence never end. It’s like a po-po paradox they can’t seem to wrap their minds around.

According to Pittsburgh City Paper, last Saturday, a group of around 20 people gathered in the street in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, to demand justice for Jim Rogers, a 54-year-old homeless Black man who died in October 2021 after Pittsburgh Police officers tased him eight times while he shouted those now-infamous words, “I can’t breathe.”

The protest was peaceful, but the protesters were in the street, and that was enough reason for officers to do the opposite of de-escalating things. The incident caught on camera showed that the conflict between officers and protesters ended in a cop Will Smith smacking a Black woman before arresting her. (Some reports have claimed the officer punched her, but it’s hard to tell from the video.)

From Pittsburgh City Paper:

It was at the group’s second stop at the intersection of Penn Avenue and Center Street in Wilkinsburg, while Diamond Rogers, the niece of Jim Rogers, started to talk about her uncle, that police from various departments, including Wilkinsburg and Edgewood, got on the speaker system and told protesters to leave, stating that it was an ‘”unlawful assembly.”

Members of the protest immediately confronted the officer, upset that he had interrupted Diamond Rogers. It was then that the officer told protesters they were not allowed to be in the intersection while the demolition of a building was going on nearby. However, some of the crew working on the site continued to eat their lunches from the back of a pickup truck at the same intersection.

So, the officer who gave the order for the crowd to disperse exited his patrol car and was joined by other officers to move the protesters onto the sidewalk. One protester, a Black woman, can be seen backing away from officers while shouting obscenities as an officer appears to try to apprehend her. That’s when the woman who was struck can be seen getting in between officers and her fellow protester which led to a struggle, which then led to a Black officer, identified as Wilkinsburg police officer Seth Taylor, striking the woman who then fell to the ground.

The woman, while on the ground, shouted, “You’re a f**king pig!” at Taylor while another officer held back his police K9.

Side note: Why do cops always seem to have police dogs where they aren’t necessary? It’s a small protest, not a drug raid. It’s like cops are just begging to recreate old civil rights era footage of dogs attacking Black people fighting for justice and/or equality.

According to the City Papers, the protester was identified as Vuestro Merced and has been since released from custody.

In the case of Rogers, eight officers were reportedly involved in the apprehension that led to his death. Five of the officers were fired, three returned to the job and none of them were charged criminally.

So, we probably shouldn’t hold our collective breath in hopes that anything will be done to Taylor or any of the other cops involved in the protest calling for justice.

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