Tuesday November 19, 1996
- Urban League requests that President Clinton to hold a national
summit on police conduct.
- Read more about it here.
- Judge David R. Cashman told jurors allegedly "to order anything
you want. The jurors indeed listened to the judge's orders and sure made the cost of the
mistrial more than the taxpayer cares to face.
- Read more about it here.
Monday November 18, 1996
- Jonny Gammage's mother Narves asks President Clinton to start an
investigation into her sons death.
- Check out Ann
Sunday November 17, 1996
- A memorial was held for Jonny Gammage at the First Baptist Church in
- The Pittsburgh area lays silent after a successful and peaceful march
yesterday sponsored by the NAACP and the CCPJ which brought together nearly 2,000 citizens
from all walks of life who all believe injustice has occurred in the Gammage related
Saturday November 16, 1996
Friday November 15, 1996
- Protests continue outside the Allegheny County Courthouse.
- We are still shocked at the jury's decision in the Vojtas case.
- Read excerpts from the Pittsburgh Press following the not guilty
Thursday November 14, 1996
- There will be no peace!
- Anticipate your cloudy visions of peace, ask us to unite. Infiltrate
our peaceful protests with your detectives and their cameras. File us in your cabinets,
monitor us, WE KNOW THAT YOU ALREADY ARE.
We do not condone any "illegal" actions but do indicate that the peace
process has consistantly failed the black community in the Pittsburgh area.
- Yesterday afternoon and well into last night peaceful protests took
place in downtown Pittsburgh.
Protestors marched from the Allegheny County Courthouse to the federal building, where
protestors hoped that their voices would be heard and federal authorities will look more
into the Gammage incident.
Wednesday November 13, 1996
- Protest to take place this evening outside the Allegeheny Courthouse to protest the
decision in the Vojtas case.
- Jurors find Officer John Vojtas innocent of manslaughter
NO JUSTICE! NO PEACE!
Monday November 11, 1996
- Closing arguments in the Vojtas trial. Assistant District Krastek
asks the jury 'who polices the bad police' and he responds 'you do ladies and gentlemen of
Sunday November 10, 1996
- The rally held yesterday outside the Allegheny County Courthouse was
a success. The turnout of about 75 people was enthusiastic as they fought the fury of
mother earth. Click here for a review of the event.
- The Ploughman's Lunch played their new track called "The Murder
of Jonny Gammage". Proceeds from album sales are going to groups working around this
- Boycott Pittsburgh music chain National Record Mart
("NRM"). Click here to find out why.
Saturday November 9, 1996
Friday November 8, 1996
- The defense put Kathleen Difendale of South Park on the stand. She
testified that tow truck driver Belachek once towed her car and told her that he was being
harassed and questioned by police even though he had not seen anything.
- Robert Willis a police defense training expert from Wisconsin
testified on behalf of Vojtas. Willis showed James Bond type weapons in justifying Vojtas'
actions, showing pens that are guns and books that can conceal pepper spray.
Willis pointed to factors of wires hanging from the dashboard of Gammage's Jaguar, his
braking actions which could have been understood to be the actions of a drunk driver and
Gammage's failure to exit the vehicle empty handed.
- Local band The Ploughman's Lunch formally announces the availability
of a new song entitled "The Murder of Jonny Gammage". Copies should be available
in records stores on Monday.
We will be putting a sample of the track online hopefully Saturday.
Thursday November 7, 1996
- Protest Rally this Saturday, November 9th at 12 noon at the
Allegheny Courthouse located on Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Go here for more information
on the event.
- Former Brentwood Councilman and current County Commissioner Bob
Cranmer attends the hearing and speaks out stating that he posed the same questions as
John Peters, a defense expert witness.
- John Peters of Defensive Tactics Institute, a law enforcement
training firm, located in Millersville, Pennsylvania testifies that Vojtas took several
gross and negligent actions during the stop of Gammage.
- Shoppers asked to boycottt the holiday shopping season in
objection to the injustices perpetrated by the police of Allegeheny County. No more
deaths, no more coverups.
- City of Pittsburgh Homicide Detective James Diskin read a report he
typed up following the death of Jonny Gammage. The report indicated that Vojtas changed
his story at the coroner's inquest.
The report indicates that Vojtas knew Gammage was holding a cellular phone
when he stepped from his vehicle conflicting Vojtas' earlier testimony in which Vojtas
tried to justify the intial attack of Gammage because officers thought the phone was a
Wednesday November 6, 1996
- At 8pm jurors were taken to the scene of the crime, Route 51 in
Pittsburgh's Overbrook section to give them a 3-dimensional look" at the flat map
that they have had to look at.
- In court testimony wrote in a police report by Vojtas indicate that
Gammage had 'super power'. Also revealed was that Vojtas had drawn his gun, something that
Officer Henderson failed to mention in his testimony, where he said he would have
personally shot Gammage had Vojtas not been standing in in his line of fire.
- In court testimony points to lies made by Vojtas. Vojtas indicated
that after Gammage allegedly bit his thumb he immediately released Gammage and sought
medical attention. Blood found on Gammages back and neck positively matched Vojtas' own
Tuesday November 5, 1996 - Election Day
- Tow truck driver Frank Belachek, the only witness to date testified
that he saw an officer tackle Gamamge, an officer on top of Gammage, an officer punch
Gammage, another officer kicking Gammage, an officer beat Gammage with a billyclub all
while Gammage struggled.
- Proceedings continue for Officer John Vojtas.
- A doctor testified that Gammage was dead when he arrived on the
- An attorney who drove past the scene testified that he saw Gammage on
the ground with his hands behind his back and the police standing around him.
- Jurors got to hear Brentwood police tapes of the intial traffic stop.
Listen to it here.
Monday November 4 1996
- Vojtas' lawyer Al Lindsay offers yet another explanation of the
strange phneomenon alleged to have caused Jonny Gammage's death.
- Pennsylvania Attorney General Thomas Corbett issues a televised
release to the media stating that 'it is not in the power of the Attorney General's Office
to take over the Gammage case.
Click to hear part of his reply.
- Trial set to begin for Officer John Vojtas.
- See our background file on the jurors.
- CCPJ plans to issue a press release and personally serve such upon
the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office in Pittsburgh at 10:30 AM. The CCPJ along with
seven other groups is requesting the removal of the Allegheny County District Attorney's
Office due to incompetence, professional misconduct, and lack of prosecution.
You can read their letter here.
Wednesday October 30, 1996
- Jury selection continues in Lakawanna county for Officer John Vojtas.
Tuesday October 29, 1996
- Jury selection begins in Lakawanna County County for Officer John
Monday October 28, 1996
- Judge David Cashman refuses to remove himself from the case. Cites no
wrongdoing on his part.
- District Attorney Bob Colville under a gag order indicates that his
office will not seek relief in the Superior Court to recuse Judge Cashman.
- Jury selection is set to begin on Wednesday for Officer John Vojtas.
Sunday October 27, 1996
- NAACP convenes in Erie, Pennsylvania. The 40+ chapters in
Pennsylvania agree and ask Judge Cashman to recuse himself.
- NAACP also renews it's request that the jury be selected from
Saturday October 26, 1996
- Citizens ask for Judge Cashman to recuse himself from case. Rally
held for Jonny Gammage. Judge Cashman denies any wrongdoing and tells members of the media
that he will see them on 9:30am Monday morning. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that
defense attorneys were permitted to meet with excused jurors. Such meeting was sanctioned
by Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman Post reports.
Friday October 25, 1996
- Judge Cashman asks state and federal authorities to investigate a
letter sent to KDKA, a CBS affiliate station, concerning Gammage trial.
Wednesday October 23, 1996
- Jury selection is set to begin Monday in Lackawanna County for the
trial of Officer Vojtas.