Police in riot gear move into formation near the intersection of Centre and South Negley avenues as protesters advance toward them on Centre Avenue on June 1. (Photo by Alexis Lai/PublicSource)

Behind the smoke and tear gas: How the complex policing of protests played out in East Liberty

The march had been peaceful. One thousand protesters had come together on the afternoon of June 1, looping for three hours around East Liberty, ending under Target’s circular red logo. When Pittsburgh’s wave of Black Lives Matter protests had kicked off two days earlier in Downtown, it had devolved into torched police cars and tear gas. Subsequent protests, including this one, were poised to make the first day the violent exception. Fewer than 45 minutes later, at the Centre and Negley intersection, a line of police in riot gear faced off with about 100 protesters who had splintered off from Target.

Protesters call for investigation of McKees Rocks police

Protesters marched through the streets of McKees Rocks on Sunday to speak out against systemic racism and demand an investigation of the borough’s police department. 

The almost five-hour event began at the intersection of Linden Street and Chartiers Avenue and continued to Sto-Rox Junior-Senior High School before returning to the starting point. “They’re gonna hear us. Not just in the streets, but when we vote. They’re gonna hear us in the White House,” said Dasia Clemons, founder of grassroots organization Pittsburgh, I Can’t Breathe [PICB]. It was organized by McKees Rocks resident Lorenzo Rulli and Nique (who preferred not to include their last name) with support from PICB.

From the Source Podcast Episode 14: Pandemics, plural: Season 1 recap

Season 1 of "From the Source" set out to hear about life in Pittsburgh during the coronavirus pandemic. We heard from business owners, students, parents and others. Then, we shifted attention to the crisis of racism and police brutality against Black people in America — a civil rights movement happening during a health pandemic. Now, we're ending season 1 and would like to hear from you as we plan for season 2. What do you want us to cover? Who should we feature? What stories should we report? Please take this survey today!

Rashod Brown, 29, of East Liberty holds a candle alongside others outside of the McKeesport apartment building where Aaliyah Johnson lived. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

Rally held in McKeesport to demand justice for Aaliyah Johnson and other Black trans people

On Friday, a crowd held candles outside of the apartment building in McKeesport where Aaliyah Johnson lived. They were there to honor her life — and demand a proper investigation of her death. Johnson, a transgender Black woman, died on May 26 after falling from her window in Midtown Plaza Apartments. She was in her early 30s. Her death was ruled a suicide, but friends and family say there wasn’t an adequate investigation and demanded answers.

From the Source Podcast Episode 12: A mom of boys navigates the pandemic and fight for justice

Pittsburgh resident Kim Neely was taking the pandemic in stride. It was a relief, to some degree. And it was because her family was home alongside her, and that makes a big difference for the Black mom of two Black boys and wife of a Black man. On this episode, she shares how she's been impacted by the movement against racism and police brutality and the experience of taking her son to his first protest.

Board Explorer: Understanding Pittsburgh’s unelected power structure

The Pittsburgh region is run in large part by more than 500 unelected board members of authorities, commissions and other governmental agencies. Board members usually don’t get headlines. Those go to the mayor, the county executive or, occasionally, council members, controllers and directors. But boards often decide what does and doesn’t get built, who gets contracts and grants, what rates and fees we pay for everything from bus rides to water, and more. Now, as the region copes with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the operations of those boards are likely to affect our lives and futures more than ever. Already, boards are switching gears from managing growth to addressing an economic emergency. It’s time we got to know them better.