Identity & Justice

The identity and justice desk explores how the makeup of the Pittsburgh community is changing, and digs into issues of diversity and equity.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Members of a Penn State University fraternity charged in connection with the death of a pledge after a night of hazing and drinking are scheduled to go to trial early next year.

Centre County Judge Jonathan Grine set aside 20 days for the trial involving 21 members of the now-closed Beta Theta Pi fraternity, starting Feb. 6.

Defendants are accused of hazing, reckless endangerment and other offenses after the death last year of 19-year-old pledge Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Kathy Willens / AP

Pennsylvania earned a "D" in a study that grades states based on the way they handle criminal cases from the time defendants are arrested to the time they’re found guilty or innocent. "D" was the average grade nationally.

 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A few dozen protesters rallying against the treatment of people of color by police officers in Allegheny County blocked off rush-hour traffic Monday afternoon in Downtown Pittsburgh. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Investigators plan to review body camera footage and witness statements after a man was wounded by Pittsburgh police while running away from officers in Arlington.

Pittsburgh police said 34-year-old Dontay Green was shot in the leg once around 5:30 p.m. Sunday after the officer said Green displayed a gun while fleeing questioning for a nearby assault. Green was taken to a hospital and remained there Monday in stable condition.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

About 30 protestors gathered Friday morning outside Nova Place in the North Side in support of cleaning staff who had been laid off after the building changed contractors. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Nearly one month after the death of Antwon Rose Jr., conversations about change are taking different forms.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto defended a letter he sent to Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning, saying it's his right as a citizen to share his opinion.

Casey Measure Aims To Help Grandparents Stepping In To Take Care Of Kids

Jul 12, 2018
Annette John-Hall / WHYY/Keystone Crossroads

Juanita Cox didn’t expect to become a parent in her 60s. But, six years ago, she took her grandchildren — now ages 14, 12, 7 and 5 — into her North Philadelphia home.

Julia Petruska / P.R.I.D.E at Pitt

A series of festivals aiming to help black kids feel good about being black begins this weekend.

Matt Rourke / AP

Philadelphia's district attorney said Wednesday that he will not support renewing a contract allowing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement access to Philadelphia's real-time arrest database.

Jacqueline Larma / AP

Over 2,600 inmates at an 89-year-old Pennsylvania prison are being transferred to a new, long-delayed facility about a mile down the road.

The first phase of transfers began just after 9 a.m. Wednesday from the state prison at Graterford to the sprawling, $400 million complex at SCI Phoenix, according to a statement from the Department of Corrections.

Several hundred inmates will be moved each day, for however long it takes to complete the operation, officials said. They didn't add how long they expected the move to take. On Wednesday, most were moved by van.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

A Pennsylvania man accused of driving through a crowd of people protesting the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager has been charged with reckless endangerment.

The charge against 69-year-old Ronald Hinerman was announced Monday, a day after the North Versailles man allegedly struck at least one protester. Police had closed roadways in North Versailles to allow protesters "unimpeded movement," but protesters eventually moved to a nearby highway and shut down the intersection.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Activists are expected to urge the Allegheny County Council to create a civilian police review board on Tuesday. 

Frank Franklin II / AP

A man who has accused a since-defrocked priest of molesting him as a 13-year-old is asking Pennsylvania's highest court to allow the release of a grand jury report into allegations of decades of child sexual abuse in six Roman Catholic dioceses.

The filing by Todd Frey comes as the state Supreme Court holds up publication of the nearly 900-page report while it accepts written arguments this week from current and former priests who object to being named in the report.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

Marchers blocked traffic on Route 30 in East Pittsburgh and North Versailles Sunday, protesting the shooting death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose.

AG Argues Church Abuse Grand Jury Report Should Be Public

Jul 5, 2018
Andrew Harnik / AP

Pennsylvania's attorney general told the state Supreme Court on Thursday he supports a request by news organizations that the court order the release of an extensive report into child sexual abuse and attempts to cover it up in several of the state's Roman Catholic dioceses.

Allegheny County District Attorney / AP

A preliminary hearing for a white police officer charged in the death of an unarmed black teenager has been moved for security reasons.

Bastian Slabbers for WHYY

Frustrated. Angry. Irritated.

That’s how Tim Whitaker is feeling after a brief phone call cancelled his organization’s plans Tuesday to deliver more than a 100 books to children at the Berks Family Residential Center, a federal detention facility for people awaiting decisions on their immigration cases.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Philadelphia welcomed 13 children, one for each of the 13 original colonies, as the country’s newest naturalized citizens Wednesday at the historic house where Betsy Ross may have sewed the nation’s first flag on the eve of the Revolutionary War — a July 4th tradition for the past 15 years.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Fans of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood can now complete a 15-stop tour of the places that inspired the television show.

Kiichiro Sato / AP

Pennsylvania’s District Attorneys Association is criticizing a recently-released study that gives the commonwealth a number of recommendations to improve how it handles its death penalty—including providing public funding for indigent defense and additional considerations for mentally ill offenders.

Amy Sisk / WESA

 

A few hundred people formed a messy circle in an East Liberty intersection, sweating in the 90-degree sun for more than two hours to listen to activists like Nicky Jo Dawson.

“We haven’t even begun,” she told the crowd Sunday.

The gathering is one of many since the death of Antwon Rose, the black teen who was shot and killed June 19 by an East Pittsburgh police officer.

Manel Balce Ceneta / AP

As national attention remains focused on the treatment of undocumented immigrants on the southern border, a group in Pennsylvania is calling attention to a situation closer to home.

The Shut Down Berks Coalition is launching a renewed effort to shutter the Berks County Residential Center, where about 20 migrant families are detained.

Berks is the smallest of the country’s three family detention facilities operated by the federal government, and the only one that’s not in Texas.

The Shut Down Berks Coalition has been calling for its closure for several years.

Andrew Rush / AP

The Pennsylvania attorney general's office is pushing for the public release of a grand jury report into allegations of child sexual abuse and cover-ups in six of the state's Roman Catholic dioceses.

A legal action that seeks to lift a stay against the report's release was filed Monday under seal. Details weren't made public.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

As religious services let out Sunday, churchgoers and members of the clergy gathered in East Liberty to answer a call for people of all faiths to rally around justice for Antwon Rose.

The 17-year-old was shot and killed June 19 by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld.

Rosfeld was charged Wednesday with criminal homicide.

Teen's Police Killing Tests Long-Frustrated Black Pittsburgh

Jul 1, 2018
Keith Srakocic / AP

The day after Antwon Rose Jr. was shot through the cheek and elbow and in the back, killing the 17-year-old honors student, young black people swarmed the East Pittsburgh police station.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Protesters gathered in Mellon Square in downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, calling for an end to the Trump Administration’s policy of separating immigrant families that are detained at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

The local branch of the NAACP held a town hall in Rankin Friday evening to call for consistent policies across the 120 municipal police departments in the Pittsburgh area, following last week's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose by a police officer.

Fernando Lavoz / AP

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro plans to file an objection Monday to the state Supreme Court over its decision not to release a sweeping grand jury report on child abuse in six Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Ten days ago, on June 19, East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld pulled over a car he suspected was connected to an earlier drive-by shooting. Two of the car's occupants fled the vehicle, and Rosfeld opened fire, killing 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. 

Rose was unarmed. 

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