Prosecutors say uniformed police at trial could sway jury


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Federal prosecutors and an attorney representing a fired Pittsburgh police sergeant accused of punching a drunken man outside a stadium are sparring over whether other officers should be allowed to wear uniforms at the trial.

Prosecutors filed a motion Thursday seeking to bar the uniforms, saying it could influence the jury.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2qONaqW ) reports that a defense attorney is accusing prosecutors of trying “to hijack” Stephen Matakovich’s right to a fair trial.

Matakovich faces charges of deprivation of civil rights and falsification of a document. He said the man appeared ready to attack at a high school football championship game outside Heinz Field in 2015. Surveillance video showed the man with his hands at his sides and not advancing when he was pushed down and struck.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com