A black Pennsylvania police officer was caught on camera punching a protester to the ground during a rally against police violence.
The officer, identified by the as Seth Taylor, confronting a protester during a rally on Saturday in the Pittsburgh suburb of Wilkinsburg.
Officers had approached the group, declaring the rally an unlawful assembly, when chaos ensued. Video shared online shows the handful of about 20 protestors screaming at officers. Police then tried to apprehend a woman who was backing away while shouting obscenities.
A second woman, identified as Vuestro Merced, was pushed forward and then tried to intervene when Taylor swiftly punched her in the face.
Video of the chaotic moment showed a muzzled police dog being held back from Merced, who can be heard screaming: ‘You’re a f**king pig!’ She was then led away in handcuffs.
Another woman can be heard screaming at the officers making arrests, saying that ‘this is what people do to fight for black people, and this is what these pigs do in the street.’ Both of the police officers making arrests were black.
Merced was later released from police custody, though it’s unclear whether any charges were made against her.
The group of about 20 people had been gathered on April 16 to demand justice for Jim Rogers, a black man who died in October 2021 less than a day after Pittsburgh Police used a Taser on him eight times.
Organizers of the ‘Justice for Jim Rogers’ rally told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that they were not interested in engaging with police or the narrative dividing ‘so-called good protesters 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,’ the group said.
The Wilkinsburg Police Department has declined to comment on the incident.
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