Last Updated on April 18, 2022
A Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest near Pittsburgh this past Saturday turned confrontational when police tried to disperse protesters who were blocking a street. Tensions escalated, which led to a BLM activist being punched by a Pittsburgh area police officer, which knocked them to the ground. The protester, a transgender individual, was struck after getting physical with the officer in an attempt to prevent him from making an arrest.
The protest was held in response to the death of Jim Rogers, a black man who died after police used a taser on him in October 2021. Rogers, who was 54 years old, died at the hospital a day after being taken into police custody. Five Pittsburgh police officers have been let go from the force for their connection to Rogers’ death. The five officers are currently disputing the decision while a lawsuit from Rogers’ family against the City of Pittsburgh has been filed.
The situation escalated when protesters blocked a street in Wilkinsburg, a town just outside of Pittsburgh. Police eventually asked protesters to disperse.
Rogers’ niece, who was speaking at the time, told the police no, that the BLM protesters would not leave the suburban Pittsburgh road. When the protesters defied the orders of the police, the police attempted to physically remove the unruly protesters.
Vuestro Merced, the individual who was on the receiving end of the punch, got physical with police who were attempting to disperse the crowd.
At an unlawful #BLM protest in Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh yesterday, protesters ignored police orders to get off the road. As black cops tried to make arrests, some of them tried to prevent that & put their hands on the cops, leading one to punch & arrest one.https://t.co/6vw08oyeF6
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) April 17, 2022
In the video, Merced can be seen trying to separate one of the officers from apprehending one of the other protesters. Protesters directed inflammatory anti-police rhetoric toward the cops, who were there to keep the situation peaceful and keep the street open to traffic. BLM protesters were also heard calling the mostly black Pittsburgh area officers “racist”, including the black officer who landed the punch.
Protesters could also be heard chanting “no justice, no peace” and “f*ck these racist a** police” in numerous videos.
The organization responsible for the protest, the “Justice for Jim Rogers organization”, released a statement to KDKA News in Pittsburgh. “Anyone on the street walking with us who saw this incident can see the only ones who respond with violence are the police.”
Currently, Merced and the other arrested Pittsburgh area BLM protesters are having money raised for them by far-left activist organizations online. Merced, a transgender individual, is a left wing activist with an extensive history of participation in far-left causes.
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) April 18, 2022