Crowds Gather at Pittsburgh Mayor's Home After BLM Protester's Arrest

The protester was participating in a Black Lives Matter demonstration when he taken into custody on Saturday.

Following the arrest of a 25-year-old protester on Saturday, crowds of demonstrators gathered in front of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto's home on Sunday. This prompted Peduto to express "serious concerns" over the techniques used to detain the protester.

Matthew Cartier, 25, was arrested while participating in a Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday. A video referenced by CBS News revealed that armed officers placed Cartier in an unmarked van. The police said that he interfered with public safety.

Police Claim Disorderly Conduct

Local media footage showed a crowd gathering outside Peduto's home on Sunday, carrying signs with slogans such as "Defund the Police". The crowd of about 150 marched outside the mayor's house after rallying in Mellon Park, according to local media reports.

Protesters With Masks
Representational Picture Twitter

Police said Cartier was arrested because he stepped in front of cars, tried to direct traffic and blocked an intersection used for hospitals and the University of Pittsburgh. He was charged with failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstructing highways and other public passages. Cartier was released on recognizance bond Sunday.

"We did it with the tactics and tools necessary to do it safely for not only the individual being arrested, for the public at large and for the protesters their selves," an official from the Pittsburgh Police told the media.

Protests Across The US

The American Civil Liberties Union said on Sunday that officers were in clear violation of their own guidelines. "The ACLU of Pennsylvania has never suggested that the snatch-and-stash arrest of a peaceful demonstrator is ever acceptable," Witold Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said in a statement.

Protests against racism and police brutality have spread across the United States and around the world after the May 25 death of George Floyd, an African-American man, who was killed when an officer knelt on his neck for about nine minutes.

(With inputs from agencies)