By: Shelley Bortz/KDKA-TV
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Since the death of Jim Rogers last fall, community and police peace has taken center stage in Pittsburgh.
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It was the focus of a forum today looking for answers, but there was a problem.
Jim Rogers’ family were not asked to join the forum today, despite much debate over his death.
They said it seemed to them that the police weren’t interested in what they had to say.
“We’ve been asked to do things we’re not trained to do,” Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said during the forum.
It’s a problem that departments across the country have, officers responding to emergency calls they have no training for, including mental health emergencies.
In recent months, following Rogers’ death, the Pittsburgh Police Department has discussed sending social workers and other mental health professionals on those calls.
“I’m the first to admit that there are people in our profession who shouldn’t be in our profession,” said Schubert. “They’re the ones who make us look bad. They are the ones harming the community.”
About 100 parishioners gathered Sunday for the Saving Lives, Keeping The Peace parish forum held at the First United Methodist Church in Shadyside.
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There, local clergy, police officers and black leaders discussed police reform to ensure senseless deaths like Rogers’s did not go in vain.
Rogers’ family were present but said they felt offended and were not asked to attend.
In their words, they feel it is because they have questions that no one can answer.
“Why aren’t there social services in police departments that can attend to the needs of the homeless or mentally handicapped who are called by the police?”
That was one such question asked by a Rogers family member, Tiffany Hale.
Five police officers were fired as a result of Rogers’ death, which was ruled an accidental, and a federal lawsuit was filed against the police.
Rogers’ family said they had nothing to do with the federal lawsuit, they just want officers held accountable.
“Firing them really isn’t enough,” said Diamond Rogers. “You could go to another police department and do this to someone else.”
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Others present shared this feeling. They want more help than just punishment.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/04/10/forum-discussing-police-reform-jim-rogers/ ‘Firing Her Really Isn’t Enough:’ Jim Rogers’ Family, Community Still Demands Justice After His Death – CBS Pittsburgh