When Mayor Bill Peduto hired former police Chief Cameron McLay two years ago, it had been just a couple of short months since the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York City. Across the nation, people were waking up to the reality that people of color are more than twice as likely to be shot at the hands of police than whites. Many were finally questioning how police officers operate in communities of color and beginning to address the disparate treatment to which people of color are subjected.
Here in Pittsburgh, relations between law enforcement and the community were similarly tense, and Mayor Peduto made the prudent decision to hire a reform-minded chief of police with experience in community policing.
Chief McLay began his service in Pittsburgh with the goal of increasing transparency and accountability and healing the fraught relationship between communities of color and the police force.
After making substantial progress instituting community policing in Pittsburgh, in November, Chief McLay resigned his position. PIIN members Darlene Figgs and Pat Troell submitted an Opinion Editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to talk about our way forward. You can find it here.