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PITTSBURGH — City police wrote nearly 200 disorderly conduct citations over a 32-month period for swearing, obscene gestures and other acts deemed disrespectful, a number that a civil rights group said was unacceptable and showed a lack of officer training.
After filing a Right to Know request, the American Civil Liberties Union found 188 such citations between March 1, 2005, and Oct. 31.
"Nobody likes to get sworn at, but you can't make it a crime," said Witold Walczak, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Foundation of Pennsylvania.
Walczak said officers were wrong to cite a woman who said, "I'm a (expletive) passenger," during a traffic stop; a woman who was "swearing profanities to a companion in front of the Girl Scouts"; and a man who "engaged in loud noise, racial slurs and pig remarks."