Police Arrest Man Accused Of Rioting During East Liberty Protests

Police Arrest Man Accused Of Rioting During East Liberty Protests

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An alleged rioter involved in the East Liberty protests over the death of George Floyd has been arrested and is facing multiple charges.


Pittsburgh Police say 28-year-old Benjamin Reynolds from Vandergrift is facing charges of aggravated assault, riot, propulsion of missiles, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstruction of highways or other public passages.


Reynolds was arrested by investigators from Damage Assessment and Accountability Task Force with help from the Westmoreland County Sheriffs and Vandergrift Police Department.


Police say 20 people were arrested during the protest in East Liberty on June 1, when police admitted to using tear gas.


Police said smoke canisters were used to disperse the crowd at Centre and Negley and that tear gas was used in other parts of East Liberty after repeated orders were given for the group to disperse.


Demonstrators say police caused the panic; however, police said they were under assault by a small group of agitators.


Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Police Citizen Review Board has launched an investigation into how these protests were handled by officers.


The Allegheny County DA withdrew charges in 22 cases connected to the East Liberty protests.


The DA says none of the cases in which charges were withdrawn involve any violence or property damage.


The Damage Assessment and Accountability Taskforce is compromised of state and federal law enforcement agencies gathering evidence in order to identify a small group of people accused of turning peaceful protests into riots.