PITTSBURGH (AP) — Uniformed police officers will be barred from the courtroom when a fired Pittsburgh officer faces civil rights charges that he wrongly beat a drunken man and then lied about it in a report.
U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon agreed with prosecutors and ruled Monday in the upcoming trial of former Sgt. Stephen Matakovich.
Matakovich faces charges of deprivation of civil rights and falsification of a document. He claimed the man appeared ready to attack at a high school football championship game at Heinz Field in 2015. Surveillance video showed the man with his hands at his sides and not advancing when he was pushed down and struck by Matakovich.
Prosecutors were concerned the jurors could be influenced if they saw uniformed officers in court supporting Matakovich.
The trial starts May 22.