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  • Writer's pictureBlack Political Empowerment Project

B-PEP joins APA, NAACP, and ALC in Opposing D.A. Zappala's comments on Pittsburgh Police 'Takeover'

November 4, 2023

Tim Stevens, Chairman and CEO, The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) joins representatives from APA, ALC, and the NAACP Pittsburgh Branch for a press conference on November 4, 2023.

“It would blur the lines between prosecution and supervision, raising grave questions about the separation of powers and responsibilities."

-Tim Stevens, Chairman and CEO, The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP)

The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) joined the Alliance for Police Accountability (APA), the NAACP Pittsburgh Branch and the Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) at a press conference on Saturday to denounce Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala's recent comments on taking over Pittsburgh Police from the control of Mayor Ed Gainey.

In recent interview on KDKA radio and another on KDKA, Zappala suggested using the federal court system to "take over" Pittsburgh Police Department in an effort to combat crime.

Speaking at the press conference on Saturday, B-PEP's Tim Stevens called such an action a "clear attempt to emasculate Pittsburgh’s first African-American mayor...we will not stand idly by and let this assertion go unchallenged.”

In a strongly worded statement released on October 30th, Mayor Ed Gainey remarked "It is clear that Mr. Zappala is unable to stand on his 20-year career, and instead wishes to mislead and use fear to win an election. We have reviewed the case law, and if Mr. Zappala has a case or a statute that he can cite to prove he has the authority to seize control of our Pittsburgh Bureau of Police I’d love to see it."

Zappala released a follow-up statement Saturday on the issue which said, in part, "If the Mayor will not be a good partner and allow the police to do their job, then I have a number of extra-ordinary remedies at my disposal that I can use to protect our residents and the people who come downtown.”

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