A group of Pittsburghers gathered in the Hill District two weeks ago to protest the acquittal of George Zimmerman and to show their disdain for the American legal system. Commander Rashall Brackney was one of the officers who patrolled the demonstration. The protestors spoke with Brackney throughout the evening, and it became evident that she had personal connections with many of the men and women sitting in the street. She negotiated with the group on many issues and the protest continued peacefully.
City Paper Editor Chris Potter wrote in his op-ed “Hitting Home,” that “her ties clearly helped defuse tensions on Centre Avenue that night.”
Brackney is a resident of the city of Pittsburgh and Potter points to this fact as an important element of the peaceful demonstration that night. She had connections in the community in which she lived and therefore was able to deal with a potentially tumultuous situation in a calm manner. But the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in the city of Pittsburgh says that lifting the standing residency requirement for officers would make recruitment and retention easier, but many taxpayers feel differently.