Lawsuit: Pittsburgh police arrested woman because she doesn't support President Trump

By Carrie Bradon | May 14, 2019


PITTSBURGH – A Pittsburgh woman alleges she was unlawfully arrested because she doesn't support President Trump, alleging police called her a "bleeding heart liberal" who "sassed" them.

Darian Balcom filed a complaint on May 2 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against the city of Pittsburgh, Gabe Figueroa and John Doe citing the First and 14th amendments.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff owns and manages rental properties in Pittsburgh and was asked by the owner of a neighboring building in writing on Dec. 18, 2017, to feed dogs believed to be abandoned.

The plaintiff alleges when she entered the apartment, she found two cats inside that were not properly cared for. The plaintiff alleges she took the cats to an empty unit in her apartment building to care for them. 

The suit states five police officers entered the plaintiff's apartment building without her consent and without a warrant and accused the plaintiff of illegally entering the apartment and stealing the cats. The plaintiff alleges that Figueroa, a Pittsburgh police officer, asked her if she was a supporter of President Donald Trump and when she responded that she was not, she was arrested.

The suit states plaintiff was taken to Allegheny County Jail and held overnight and was charged with felony trespassing, theft and burglary. The suit states the charges were later withdrawn.

The plaintiff is seeking all reasonable sums due, attorney fees and court costs. The plaintiff is represented by Margaret S. Coleman of the Law Offices of Timothy P. O'Brien in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number 2:19-CV-00506

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