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Saturday, June 16, 2007

[PA] Cop George Trosky promoted to commander despite his history of violence


Pittsburgh police Detective George T. Trosky, who is a veteran homicide detective, will be promoted to the rank of police commander... George Trosky used excessive force when he slammed a White Oak man onto the hood of his patrol car before arresting him at a June 1988 baseball game... In December of 1992, when the Troskys were separated, he was accused of striking his wife with his police radio... In July 1997, police charged then-Sgt. Trosky with simple assault for breaking the nose of his wife... She told officers her husband had head-butted her in the face during an argument at 8:15 p.m. and then forced her to take off her bloodied clothes, which he had taken with him when he left the residence... He was also charged with driving drunk after the alleged assault... he punched a Grateful Dead fan he had taken into custody... What does [Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper] have to say to victims of domestic violence who will be apprehensive about how future incidents will be handled under a Trosky command? Why has he selected this man, rather than one of the 77 sergeants and 25 lieutenants already in a supervisory role?...

DEMOTED A DECADE AGO, HE'S NOW IN LINE TO BE CITY POLICE COMMANDER
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, PA
By Jonathan D. Silver
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
[Excerpts] A Pittsburgh homicide detective who was demoted 10 years ago after his arrest for domestic abuse and drunken driving is the main candidate for one of the bureau's top supervisory positions. Detective George T. Trosky is the "front-runner" for promotion later this month to commander, a position outranked by only the five chiefs, Chief Nate Harper confirmed yesterday. "Yeah, George is the front-runner at this time for a command spot," Chief Harper said. "He's shown good leadership, good character in homicide." Chief Harper acknowledged that Detective Trosky has passed through rough patches in his 28-year career, but said he has been impressed by his ability to work through problems and keep focused on the job. Detective Trosky has carved out a reputation as a hard worker on the homicide squad who solves cases. "Looking at some of the things in his past and how he recovered and is a good officer, those qualities are good qualities, and I feel he's of command-staff quality," Chief Harper said. In July 1997, police charged Detective Trosky with simple assault for breaking the nose of his wife, Cheryl. The charge was dismissed at a preliminary hearing because she failed to appear... In April 1989, he punched a Grateful Dead fan he had taken into custody. The incident was caught on videotape, and the clip was shown on national television. Detective Trosky was charged with using excessive force but was cleared by a trial board... [Full article here]

CONTROVERSIAL DETECTIVE AMONG PROMOTED
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
June 16, 2007
Jim McKinnon Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
[Excerpts] Pittsburgh police Detective George T. Trosky, who is a veteran homicide detective, will be promoted to the rank of police commander, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced yesterday. Detective Trosky is among four officers receiving promotions in a ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday at City Hall. Detective Charles A. Rodriguez will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Officers Eugene F. Hlavac and Eric S. Churilla will be made sergeants. The promotions were approved by Mayor Ravenstahl on recommendations of police Chief Nate Harper. Detective Trosky was demoted a decade ago. In July 1997, police charged then-Sgt. Trosky with simple assault for breaking the nose of his wife, Cheryl. The charge was dismissed at a preliminary hearing because she failed to appear. The couple divorced in 1998. He was also charged with driving drunk after the alleged assault. That charge was dropped when a blood alcohol test was deemed inadmissible in court. As a result of the arrest, he was demoted from sergeant to patrolman. In April 1989, he punched a Grateful Dead fan he had taken into custody. The incident was caught on videotape, and the clip was shown on national television. Detective Trosky was charged with using excessive force but was cleared by a trial board... [Full article here]

SHAKY COMMAND THE TROSKY APPOINTMENT BEGS A FEW QUESTIONS
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
June 16, 2007
[Excerpts] Forgiving is one thing; forgetting can be more difficult. There are some things about city police Detective George Trosky that are not easily forgotten. After all, he was the patrolman who, in April 1989, was videotaped punching a Grateful Dead fan during a fracas outside Mellon Arena. National broadcast of the event gave the city a black eye, but Mr. Trosky was cleared... Four years later, Mr. Trosky was charged with assault and drunken driving for an incident in which his wife's nose was broken... [Police Chief Nate] Harper laid the groundwork for promoting Mr. Trosky in January, when he convinced the city to change civil service requirements. In the past, an officer had to be either a sergeant or a lieutenant before jumping to the rank of commander. Mr. Trosky won civil service approval after that, and Chief Harper said last week he was the "front-runner" for the next available command post. But we'd like to hear more from Chief Harper. What does he have to say to victims of domestic violence who will be apprehensive about how future incidents will be handled under a Trosky command? Why has he selected this man, rather than one of the 77 sergeants and 25 lieutenants already in a supervisory role? Mayor Luke Ravenstahl supports Chief Harper's decision and said that he talked with Mr. Trosky and reviewed his file. "I believe his 30 years of service and his record speaks for itself," the mayor said. We hope some parts of it speak louder than others. As we wait to see how Mr. Trosky handles being commander, forgetting his past won't be part of the equation. We -- and the public -- will be evaluating his performance with it in mind. [Full article here]


EXCERPTS FROM OLD NEWS:


 JURY FINDS EXCESS FORCE USED IN ARREST
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
December 21, 1990
JANET WILLIAMS, THE PITTSBURGH PRESS
A federal court jury today found that Pittsburgh police officer George Trosky used excessive force when he slammed a White Oak man onto the hood of his patrol car before arresting him at a June 1988 baseball game... Brown said Trosky grabbed him by his throat and chest and slammed him on the hood of his patrol car after Brown approached Trosky without provocation... Trosky said he did nothing more than grab Brown by the collar and push him onto the hood of the patrol car. Brown was charged by police with disorderly conduct...

OFFICER SEES VICTORY IN VERDICT ON EXCESSIVE FORCE
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
December 22, 1990
JANET WILLIAMS, THE PITTSBURGH PRESS
Pittsburgh police officer George Trosky won "a bittersweet victory" in a civil rights case even though jurors determined he used too much force in his arrest of a White Oak man, Trosky's lawyer said. Robert DelGreco said he views the verdict, returned yesterday, as a victory for his client because jurors limited damages to $748, the amount James Brown spent for medical treatment the night of the arrest...


CITY POLICE SERGEANT IS CHARGED WITH DUI AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
MICHAEL A. FUOCO, POST-GAZETTE STAFF WRITER
July 8, 1997
Pittsburgh police Sgt. George T. Trosky, already under investigation to determine whether he hit a man with a beer bottle while off duty in April, was arrested by Pittsburgh officers Saturday night on charges of breaking his wife's nose and then driving his motorcycle while intoxicated... According to a report of Saturday's incident, officers dispatched to his home in Banksville found his wife, Cheryl, 41, with a broken, bloodied nose. She told officers her husband had head-butted her in the face during an argument at 8:15 p.m. and then forced her to take off her bloodied clothes, which he had taken with him when he left the residence. Officers advised Cheryl Trosky to get a protection-from-abuse order. She then was taken to St. Clair Hospital by her brother-in-law, whom she had phoned immediately after the incident. He had called 911 when he arrived and discovered what happened. The officers who took her report said they were on their way back to the West End station when they noticed a black motorcycle matching the description of Trosky's... Trosky told the officers he had not assaulted his wife and had not even gone home after his tour of duty, having gone instead to a party...

POLICE OFFICER'S WIFE A NO-SHOW IN COURT, ABUSE CHARGE DROPPED
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
MICHAEL A. FUOCO
August 29, 1997
Charges that Pittsburgh police Sgt. George T. Trosky broke his wife's nose on July 5 were dismissed at a preliminary hearing yesterday because she failed to appear... Robert Del Greco, Trosky's attorney, said after the hearing that Chief City Magistrate William T. Simmons did the right thing in dropping the simple assault charge. "The victim did not show and there was no evidence she was going to show (at a trial). The judge was duty bound to drop the charges because there was not one scintilla of evidence of simple assault"... both Trosky's wife, Cheryl, and her brother-in-law, who contacted police the night of July 5 to report the assault, told authorities they would not cooperate in the prosecution. The July incident was not the first time Trosky had been charged with domestic violence. In December of 1992, when the Troskys were separated, he was accused of striking his wife with his police radio, but the charges were dismissed when Cheryl Trosky notified the district attorney's office that they were reconciling... Del Greco said he was disappointed that the drunken driving charges were not dropped. He had argued during the hearing that there was no probable cause or reasonable suspicion to test Trosky for driving drunk on his motorcycle and that he only was given a breath test because he was a police officer... The dropping of the domestic violence charge was crucial to Trosky's career as a police officer...

SGT. TROSKY HAS HEARING
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
August 30, 1997
Pittsburgh police Sgt. George T. Trosky... faces an administrative hearing Thursday before Acting Public Safety Director Kathy Kraus. Yesterday, Trosky, accompanied by Fraternal Order of Police President Marshall W. "Smokey" Hynes and FOP attorney Bryan Campbell, appeared at an administrative hearing before police Chief Robert W. McNeilly, Deputy Chief Charles Moffatt, Assistant Chief William P. Mullen and Cmdr. John McMahon of the North Side station, where Trosky is assigned. McNeilly will decide before Thursday whether Trosky, an 18-year veteran, violated bureau rules and regulations and, if so, what punishment he should face. Punishment could be as severe as termination. McNeilly's recommendation will be forwarded to Kraus, who has the final say...

TROSKY DEMOTED AFTER ARREST ON DUI, VIOLENCE CHARGES
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
September 18, 1997
JOHNNA A. PRO, POST-GAZETTE STAFF WRITER
...The July incident was not the first time Trosky had been charged with domestic violence. In December 1992, when the Troskys were separated, he was accused of striking his wife with his police radio. Those charges were dismissed when Cheryl Trosky notified the district attorney's office that they were reconciling... The dropping of the domestic violence charge in the most recent incident was crucial to Trosky's career as a police officer...

REAL PROTECTION FOR ABUSED WOMEN
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
September 21, 1997
PATRICIA G. BARNES
...On July 5, Pittsburgh Police Sgt. George T. Trosky was arrested for breaking the nose of his wife, Cheryl, and then driving his motorcyle while intoxicated. The domestic-violence charge against him was dismissed at a preliminary hearing on Aug. 28 because his wife failed to appear. A spokeswoman for Colville's office said the charge was dropped because Cheryl Trosky wouldn't cooperate in the prosecution... Trosky was previously charged with domestic violence in 1992. But the charges were dismissed then, too - Cheryl Trosky told the district attorney that she and her husband were reconciling and that she did not want to press charges...

[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner abuse law enforcement public safety history teflon pennsylvania state]

1 comment:

  1. ABUSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST PITTSBURGH POLICEMEN WORRY WOMEN
    By Mike Cronin and Mike Wereschagin
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Friday, June 22, 2007
    [Excerpts] Some women this week questioned the wisdom of promoting three Pittsburgh police officers with allegations of domestic violence or disturbances in their past... Cmdr. George Trosky, a 27-year police veteran who was promoted from detective, was demoted in 1997 after being charged with head-butting his wife. Lt. Charles A. Rodriguez, a former sergeant who joined the police bureau in 1993, was charged in April with simple assault on allegations he struck his daughter. City police responded to Sgt. Eugene Hlavac's home in March after reports of screaming there, said Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson. Trosky and Rodriguez were cleared of wrongdoing; Hlavac's case has been characterized as an argument. Police Chief Nate Harper, who promoted the three officers this week, was out of state Thursday and could not be reached for comment. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who approved the promotions, could not be reached for comment. His spokeswoman, Joanna Doven, said the mayor would not discuss the promotions or their effects on women. "He's not going to talk about that," Doven said. Trosky said following his promotion ceremony this week that he has put his past behind him. "That's over," he said. Hlavac and Rodriguez could not be reached... As long as officers are held responsible for perpetrating domestic violence, then promoting them is an internal matter, [Janet Scott, Executive Director of the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh] said. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_513823.html

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