A video posted to Facebook yesterday shows a Pittsburgh police officer landing about a dozen punches to a man already on the ground Tuesday night outside of the Penguins arena. In the video, you can hear officers yelling, although it’s hard to tell who is yelling at each moment. You can hear, “Shut up, you fucker,” “Get your fucking Taser, Bobby,” and “stop resisting” all yelled as punch after punch lands on Daniel T. Adelman of Ravenna, Ohio. A clicking sound similar to that made by a Taser can be heard in the video. There also is a voice saying, “I’m trying to help you. I’m trying to help you.”
The arena’s most prominent tenant is the Pittsburgh Penguins, but their season hasn’t started yet. The arena’s schedule shows a Roger Waters concert was scheduled to happen last night. Adelman’s sister told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that her brother was visiting the city for a concert.
Mr. Adelman is a passive person who would “turn around backwards” to avoid getting into a fight, “especially with police,” his sister said.
“Oh my god,” she said as she watched the video for the first time Wednesday. “My poor brother. This is so uncalled for. This is what happens to him when he goes to Pittsburgh?!”
In court records obtained by the Post-Gazette, one police officer confirmed that he punched Adelman multiple times. The officers said they had been arresting another man on a warrant for forgery charges from another county. That’s when, according to records filed in court, police said Adelman, 47, ran up to them and “took a fighting stance,” per the Post-Gazette. Officer Andrew Jacobs wrote in his affidavit that he was “in fear he was going to strike myself or other officers” so he “struck the male in the face to halt his attacking and advancing nature.” In the affidavit, Jacobs said he “punched the man in the face between three and five times ... and then another four to seven times in the rib cage,” the Post-Gazette reported.
The Citizen Police Review Board, the city’s Office of Municipal Investigations, the city’s Office of Professional Standards, and the police department are all expected to investigate what happened. A police department spokeswoman told local media that none of the five officers in the video have been placed on leave. A press release from the city said that Jacobs has been placed on desk duty.