Inmate sues, claiming police used undue force

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After a car chase, Pittsburgh police pistol-whipped, punched and kicked Paul A. Parrish, 38, the former Carrick man alleged in a lawsuit filed Thursday against the city and six officers.

Parrish, now an inmate at the State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh, ran a red light on July 17, 2012, according to the complaint that his attorney, Todd Hollis, filed in U.S. District Court.

Once stopped, he put “both his hands outside the driver’s side door,” conceding the arrest, his attorney wrote.

According to the complaint, Officer Robert L. Ross then struck Parrish repeatedly with his pistol and pulled him out of the driver’s side window.

Other officers then threw “a barrage of punches and knee strikes to and about the face and body,” and Officer Ross kicked Parrish in the head.

Officer Ross “felt the force used [was appropriate], considering that he was facing a threat that this person was going to come out and grab him and grab his firearm or something,” according to Bryan Campbell, an attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police,

In a negotiated guilty plea, Parrish admitted to fleeing and eluding.

Seven other charges were dismissed or withdrawn.

Parrish’s complaint accused the officers of excessive force, assault and malicious prosecution.

It alleged that the city failed to train and supervise them.

He demanded compensatory damages for physical and emotional injuries.

In 1996, Parrish pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.


Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542. Twitter @richelord

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