Pittsburgh police charge 11 after protest outside jail

Police with several people who were arrested during a protest outside the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 20, 2017.

CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh police have charged 11 people in connection with a protest during which police say suspects threw rocks, broke windows and set off “large-scale” fireworks outside the county jail.

Police named the defendants Tuesday afternoon, but The Associated Press was not identifying them because it wasn’t immediately clear what charges and actions were being attributed to which defendants.

Police say about 25 people from the Allegheny County Health Justice Project gathered about 8 p.m. Monday.

Two bicycle officers intervened and scuffled with two protesters, each carrying a backpack. One man’s backpack contained mace, a loaded pistol -- which he was licensed to carry -- brass knuckles and a pocket knife. Police say they found knives and other weapons on some other protesters.

The group says it protests insufficient medical care for inmates. 

The group said the demonstration was in support in a specific pod in the jail that staged a sit-in to demand proper and timely medical care, among other things, reports CBS Pittsburgh. But the jail’s warden, Orlando Harper, denied that any such protest occurred within the facility.

“Contrary to reports made by the group that has been organizing the protests over the last few days, there are no sit-ins or protests going on inside the jail, nor have there been,” Harper said. 

The jail’s security wasn’t breached.