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City council delays giving police new powers for G-20

• Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh City Council balked at giving final approval today to legislation that could give police new powers in advance of anticipated G-20 Summit protests, putting the matter off until tomorrow.

Council members said they have not gotten clear responses from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s administration to concerns they’ve had with the proposed ordinance allowing police to cite people for having an array of items if they detect intent to defy a crowd dispersal order.

“No piece has garnered more controversy in terms of the G-20 than these two public safety pieces,” said Councilman Bruce Kraus, referring to both the bill on items and a similar proposal on masks, which was defeated. “These bills, in my opinion, have not received resounding support, nor engagement, from the administration.”

Council was set to cast a final vote on the legislation on items, but instead pushed it back until tomorrow, just eight days before the start of the summit at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The vote to postpone was 7-2, with the two no votes — Council President Doug Shields and William Peduto — arguing for voting the matter down entirely.

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