Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Officer, Assistant Da Posed on Facebook with Gun Evidence Authorities Label the Conduct 'Contrary to Office Protocol'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Officer, Assistant Da Posed on Facebook with Gun Evidence Authorities Label the Conduct 'Contrary to Office Protocol'

Article excerpt

An Allegheny County assistant district attorney and a uniformed Pittsburgh police officer posed, smiling and toting large guns that were evidence in a case they worked on together, in a Facebook photo with the caption, "You should take the plea."

Pittsburgh police command staff and the district attorney's office, which said the assistant district attorney's "conduct is contrary to office protocol with respect to the handling of evidence," were looking into the matter, officials of the offices said.

It appears to have been posted at 6:47 p.m. Thursday on the Facebook page of Officer Garrett Bickmore.

In the picture, he is in uniform and holding a Colt AR-15 assault-style rifle, with what appears to be an evidence tag hanging from it; assistant district attorney Julie Jones has on a skirt suit and is holding a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, also with a tag.

The guns were evidence in a case that the two had worked on together, the Allegheny County district attorney's office confirmed Friday.

That nonjury trial - in which Ms. Jones was the prosecutor and Officer Bickmore was a lead investigator in the case - concluded Thursday with Michael Jetter, 34, of Highland Park, pleading guilty to gun and drug violations. He was sentenced to three years of probation.

Ms. Jones declined to comment on the photo, and Officer Bickmore could not be reached.

Ms. Jones was tagged in the photo, and it appeared to still be live on her Facebook wall Friday. On that Facebook page, Ms. Jones identified herself as an assistant district attorney.

Approached by a reporter Friday morning, she briefly smiled, laughed and said, "We actually ..." She did not complete her thought before saying, "I have to go to an appointment," and walking away.

"The assistant district attorney's conduct is contrary to office protocol with respect to the handling of evidence," said Mike Manko, spokesman for the district attorney's office. "Moving forward, her appearance in this photo is now a personnel matter. …

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