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US: Attorney claims new evidence vindicates police officer accused of making ‘violent’ Pride arrest

Nick Duffy July 19, 2014

The attorney of a police officer accused of making a violent arrest at a Pride parade claims he will be fully vindicated by an investigation.

Police officer Souroth Chatterji was suspended from active duty last month, after a short clip surfaced online of him making an arrest at Pittsburgh PrideFest.

The footage appeared to show him grabbing 19-year-old Ariel Lawther – who was wearing rainbow clothing – by the head and punching her, before restraining her in front of the crowd.

However, police trade union attorney Bryan Campbell has claimed that the footage did not show the full events, and that he has new photo evidence that will vindicate Chatterji in the ongoing Office of Municipal Investigations probe.

He told TribLive: “It’s got to go his way, without a doubt, it’s got to go his way.

“With what these still photos show, everything he did is consistent with his training and with what police officers are permitted to do when met with resistance.

“I would love for them to release the video and the stills so we can sit down and talk about it. This is something we’re investigating, and we’re not jumping to any conclusions. We want to get all the facts.

“When a policeman is trying to arrest somebody and they’re grabbing the policeman, he can use a closed fist.

“The biggest problem is that the public isn’t educated on the continuum of control — how they’re trained to react to resistance. It’s the plus-one theory: Officers can always go one level higher.”

Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto said: “I and my administration are committed to justice and fairness, and we will ensure a complete and thorough investigation so that all parties may receive fair treatment from the city of Pittsburgh.”

Watch the initial clip below:

More: arrest, officer, pittsburgh, police, Pride, US, violent

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