Above and beyond: A police commander endures more than the usual

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Pittsburgh Police Commander RaShall Brackney knows firsthand what it means to have one's reputation dragged through the mud. The Zone 1 commander had a protection from abuse petition filed against her by former cigar store owner Andrew Lee.

The Sheraden man claimed that Ms. Brackney was using her police position to harass his North Side business after he allegedly ended a romantic relationship with her. Complicating matters was the fact that Mr. Lee's business was being investigated for illegal activity when he filed the PFA petition in 2012.

All along, Cmdr. Brackney's colleagues and supporters in the community insisted that Mr. Lee's allegations were false and that it was a blatant attempt to derail the police investigation. On Monday, Mr. Lee pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of administration of law related to filing the unfounded PFA request.

A judge sentenced him to two years of probation and ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation, pay a $2,500 fine and have no contact with Cmdr. Brackney. Although vindicated, the commander fears that along with the financial burden of defending herself against Mr. Lee's lie, her reputation may have taken a hit, too.

Since Mr. Lee's offense was aimed at derailing an investigation, it was also an attack on the criminal justice system. Given that, he was lucky to have escaped jail time.

Here's one case where Cmdr. Brackney went above and beyond in her role as a police officer.



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