Man, 62, Arrested For Cursing, Dies After Ten Days In Pittsburgh Jail

| by Michael Allen

Clarence Jewett Jr. died on Dec. 26, 2014, after spending ten days in jail.

Pittsburgh Police Officer Jason Lloyd arrested the 62-year-old man who was reportedly yelling obscenities at people in public on Dec. 16.

Officer Lloyd asked Jewett for his ID, but the senior cursed at the cop and walked towards his apartment.

Officer Lloyd's affidavit said that he grabbed Jewett and tried to pull him away from the apartment door. Five more police officers arrived on the scene and arrested Jewett, who has schizophrenia.

The affidavit accused Jewett of “obscenity,” cited him for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, which was allegedly creating “a hazardous or physically offensive condition."

Jewett was taken to the Allegheny County Jail.

“If he’s just standing on the sidewalk yelling ... profane language or whatever, that doesn’t to me suggest that he’s creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition,” Sara Rose, an attorney for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said there was “no indication that [Jewett] was mistreated in any way by the police or by correctional officers.”

Moffatt added that the medical examiner found no signs of trauma ​on Jewett's body, but added that the senior had a “perforated bowel" that may have been the result of “infection or corrosion.”

“You cannot arrest people for use of profanity,” Witold Walczak, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, said in a statement, noted Pittsburgh News. "[Jewett] was not a public safety threat. Then he starts going into his house, so any threat was over.”

“There should never have been an arrest,” added Walczak. "Why was an arrest made? He didn’t show the kind of respect that the officer wanted to see.”

Sources: Pittsburgh News, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Image Credit: John Marino