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Friday, August 24, 2012

[PA] Pittsburgh Police again bypass law-abiding officers to promote it's most controversial.


...[Trosky] 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... 

TROSKY TO BECOME PITTSBURGH ASSISTANT POLICE CHIEF
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By Sadie Gurman
Pam Panchak
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
[Excerpts] Pittsburgh police Cmdr. George Trosky will be promoted this week to assistant chief, an impressive trajectory for the 34-year veteran whose career - marked by a demotion and several high-profile controversies - once seemed that it might be beyond salvation... The controversy that followed Cmdr. Trosky earlier in his career was again at issue Monday. In 2007, he made the unusually steep leap from detective to commander over concerns from women's organizations about his past; he was one of three police officers promoted that year who had faced accusations of domestic violence... 1997, when he was charged with drunken driving and breaking the nose of his wife, Cheryl, an incident that could have ended his career if he had been convicted. But charges were dropped when she failed to appear in court. "He has done nothing to show he has gone the extra mile for women," said Jeanne Clark of Squirrel Hill, who, in 2007, was among the women's advocates who fought the commander's promotion and urged the city to pursue new policies against family violence. She said this week's promotion is just as troubling and criticized his role in a 2009 domestic violence incident in Zone 2 in which a woman's abusive former boyfriend was able to hurt her again... But Mr. Ravenstahl said the commander has already paid for the mistakes he knows he made... [LINK]

PITTSBURGH POLICE COMMANDER IS PROMOTED TO ASSISTANT CHIEF
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By Sadie Gurman
August 20, 2012 4:40 pm
City police Cmdr. George Trosky will be promoted this week to assistant chief... Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said that "the commander's work speaks for itself... The mayor said the commander had paid for his past mistakes and is the right person for the job... Police Chief Nate Harper declined to comment... Cmdr. Trosky was promoted from detective to commander in 2007 over concerns from women's organizations about his controversial past. Cmdr. Trosky was one of three police officers promoted that year who had faced accusations of domestic violence. In all cases, charges were dropped or never filed. Public backlash from the promotions, driven in part by fears of nonchalant police response to domestic violence cases, spurred updated policies enforceable when police are accused of abuse. Cmdr. Trosky told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at the time that he had buried his past and was looking forward to further serving the police bureau... When Mayor Luke Ravenstahl approved his promotion to commander in 2007, he said it was based not on "one or two incidents" but on a 30-year-portfolio that included many commendations and his high clearance rate as a homicide detective... [LINK]

FROM ONE OF THE EARLIER BLOG POSTS:

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?...

ALSO FROM 2007:

HEAD OF POLICE REVIEW BOARD MIFFED
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By Jonathan D. Silver and Rich Lord
June 20, 2007 11:29 pm
[Excerpts] The head of the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board believes two officers who had run-ins with the law this year over domestic problems should not have been promoted Monday. Charles Rodriguez, who was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant, has a pending criminal case in Ingram, where police charged him with simple assault... Eugene F. Hlavac, who was elevated to sergeant from patrolman, was the subject of two police responses to his home this year after he argued with his girlfriend... A third officer who was promoted, George T. Trosky, went from homicide detective to commander. In January, Chief Nathan Harper, a longtime friend of Cmdr. Trosky, lobbied the Civil Service Commission to change its rules that previously permitted only sergeants or lieutenants to be bumped up to commander... Fraternal Order of Police President James J. Malloy defended the officers... Cmdr. Catherine McNeilly took the opposite stance, echoing comments by [Review Board's Executive Director Elizabeth] Pittinger, that promotions should be postponed for officers with pending criminal cases or domestic problems that rise to the level of police being called. She also said she privately expressed concerns to Chief Harper about Cmdr. Trosky because she felt it was unfair to promote him instead of longtime sergeants and lieutenants who had the experience for the position. "I think that every supervisor on the job has been slapped in the face because of this promotion... Everyone who has never received discipline, who has never been arrested for domestic violence, for DUI, for excessive force, everyone who has gone to school, who has been promoted through the ranks, who has done a good job, who has done everything right in the hopes of achieving promotions the right way, has gotten the wrong message here, and that's what distresses me"... [LINK]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety preferential misogyny privlege pennsylvania state politics]

3 comments:

  1. JURY HEARS OF SCUFFLE BETWEEN OFFICER, WHITE OAK MAN
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
    Janet Williams
    December 18, 1990
    [Excerpts] This much is clear: Pittsburgh police officer George Trosky arrested [USX engineer] James Brown at a North Side parking lot before a Pirates game in June 1988 and, in a scuffle, Brown hurt his neck and back... Brown said Trosky began yelling at [van driver Wayne] Felgar, saying he would "kick the stuffing out of (Felgar) and that he would kick his head off." When Brown's wife, Saundra, asked Trosky to tone down his language because children were present, the officer began yelling at her, Brown told the court. "I asked the officer, 'Why are you speaking to my wife like this?' " Brown said. Trosky whirled around, picked him up and slammed him onto the hood of his patrol car, Brown said... In papers filed in the case, Trosky said Brown filed suit against him only because the officer was involved in a controversial confrontation with a fan at a Grateful Dead concert at the Civic Arena in April 1989. In a videotape of the incident, Trosky seems to be punching the fan, but Trosky subsequently was cleared by a police trial board.

    JURY FINDS EXCESS FORCE USED IN ARREST
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
    JANET WILLIAMS
    December 21, 1990
    [Excerpts] 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. The jurors said the man Trosky arrested, James Brown, 43, was wrong, too, for interfering with Trosky's arrest of another person... "We felt both were honest and sincere when they testified. But we believed Mr. Brown was wrong for meddling, and that Mr. Trosky used excessive force," said Ruby Flood of Rankin, one of the jurors. Jury foreman Jeff Kistler, of Sheraden, agreed, saying the jury panel felt Brown should be compensated only for his hospital bill... Brown was found guilty of disorderly conduct and fined $250 plus court costs. His case is on appeal.

    GEORGE J. TROSKY JR.
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
    February 3, 1991
    [Excerpt] George J. Trosky Jr., who was a city police officer for 25 years before retiring in May, died of cancer Friday in Allegheny General Hospital. Mr. Trosky, 58, of Westwood, was a member of Fort Pitt Lodge 1, Fraternal Order of Police; Veterans Police Association; VFW Police and Firemen's Post 303; and Green Tree American Legion Post 823. He is survived by his wife, Ruth H.; three sons, George T...

    DEAD CONCERT CHANGED POLICE PROCEDURE HERE
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
    August 10, 1995
    [Excerpts] ...But the mention of [Jerry] Garcia or his band in Pittsburgh is just as likely to generate memories of the Grateful Dead's April 3, 1989, appearance here, when two Pittsburgh police officers were charged with using excessive force for their handling of unruly fans outside the Civic Arena. The incidents were televised across the country and resulted in departmental charges against Officer George Trosky and Sgt. David R. Allman. Television tapes showed Trosky punching a fan who was being escorted to a police wagon. Allman, a sergeant at the tow pound, was seen kicking at the head of a fan struggling with other officers. Both officers beat the charges in hearings before trial boards, the Police Bureau's disciplinary system...

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  2. POLICE REFORM BACKERS SHIFT COUNCIL NOW LEADS EFFORT TO CHANGE DISCIPLINE REVIEW
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
    Michael A. Fuoco
    April 24, 1996
    [Excerpts] In 1989, a television news videotape captured a Pittsburgh police officer punching a Grateful Dead fan in the face as he was led into a police wagon. The incident, and particularly the exoneration of the officer by a panel of his peers, was the catalyst in a long-running fight by city administrators to prove that the police disciplinary system was ineffective and lacked credibility... Seven years ago, when charges of police misconduct were filed against Officer George Trosky in the Grateful Dead incident, his case was reviewed by a three-member trial board of Pittsburgh police sergeants who exonerated him of using excessive force...

    SGT. TROSKY BEING INVESTIGATED AGAIN DOWNTOWN PIZZERIA THE SCENE OF REPORTED SWAT WITH BEER BOTTLE
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
    Michael A. Fuoco
    May 3, 1997
    [Excerpts] Pittsburgh police Sgt. George T. Trosky, who became a controversial figure for punching an in-custody Grateful Dead fan in 1989, is being investigated by the city's office of municipal investigations to determine whether he hit someone with a beer bottle at a Downtown pizza shop last Saturday... If Trosky was working a private security detail in uniform, or at some point identified himself as a police officer, he would be acting under the "color of law" and OMI would have jurisdiction to render a finding about whether he used excessive force... If, however, Trosky never identified himself as an officer, he would essentially be acting as a civilian and OMI would have no jurisdiction until, if and when he was criminally adjudicated guilty...

    OFFICER DENIES CHARGES OF ATTACK AT PIZZA SHOP
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
    Michael A. Fuoco
    May 4, 1997
    [Excerpts] Pittsburgh police Sgt. George T. Trosky, who is being investigated to determine whether he hit someone with a beer bottle at a Downtown pizza shop April 26, denied yesterday that he had. "I've done nothing since 1989 and I'm not about to start now," said Trosky... Trosky, a sergeant at the North Side station, said yesterday that he was off duty, not in uniform and not working a detail at Corleone's Pizza on Sixth Street, where the incident occurred... the man said to have been struck with a bottle did not file a complaint...

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  3. OFFICER CHARGED WITH DUI, BEATING
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
    Michael A. Fuoco
    July 8, 1997
    [Excerpts] 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... A breath test indicated that he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.169. In Pennsylvania, a person is considered too drunk to drive with a reading of 0.10. The arrest could end Trosky's career with the Pittsburgh Police Bureau because of a new federal law regarding domestic violence. Even if he is not convicted, city investigations into the arrest Saturday and the April allegation could jeopardize his career... 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... 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 and that she did not wish to move forward on the charges... The office of municipal investigations is still looking into an April 26 incident in which a man claims the off-duty officer hit him with a beer bottle at a Downtown pizza shop...

    POLICE OFFICER'S WIFE A NO-SHOW IN COURT, ABUSE CHARGE DROPPED
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
    Michael A. Fuoco
    August 29, 1997
    [Excerpts] 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. Charges that he was driving drunk after the assault were held for court... Azizee Sams, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said 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... police in July provided Cheryl Trosky with information about agencies where she could obtain help and support. Additionally, advocates from those agencies had been in contact with her before yesterday's hearing, which had been postponed several times... Trosky, who remains on active duty at the North Side station, declined to be interviewed... Trosky still faces a career setback if he loses his driver's license through a DUI conviction... But of more immediate concern to Trosky is a disciplinary action hearing this morning on departmental charges that he violated bureau rules and regulations, such as "obedience to orders and law" and "conduct unbecoming an officer," in the July incident. Discipline could be as severe as termination, which could then be appealed to an arbitrator...

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