Quantcast

Ravenstahl vs. Robocop

Taser-toting police officer Frank Rende's latest meltdown causes Mayor Ravenstahl to act human for once.

Prior to dropping his reelection bid, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl spent the last six years sounding exactly like a lifetime politician. It was as if someone uploaded PoliticoSpeak 2.0 directly to his brain and deleted every human-sounding phrase from his vocabulary.

"He and I" became "myself and other individuals."

"I'm not happy with this and we're going to fix it" became "I'm certainly displeased with the developments in this scenario and myself and other individuals like myself will see that it comes to an appropriate resolution."

Just ... what?!

Never one to rock the boat — likely for fear he would turn the good ole boys' establishment against him and his political ambitions — Ravenstahl became like every other politician. Timid. Politically correct to a fault. Cautious. Needlessly verbose.



However, now that he's chosen (or has been forced) to shutter his re-election campaign, the new Luke Ravenstahl has found his inner Chuck Norris, and it's a thing of beauty.

Take the case of Pittsburgh police officer Frank Rende.

Frank Rende has quite a history here in Pittsburgh, and "illustrious" isn't the word for it. More like infamous.

Let's recap:

In 2000, Officer Rende returned to visit a victim of domestic abuse after responding to a call at her home. Why? To have sex with her. Rende was told then that any further misconduct would result in termination. What a Casanova.



By 2011, it was determined that he had called off work 37 times in four years to work side jobs above and beyond his almost six-figure detective job.

He had a “complaint history at the city’s Office of Municipal Investigations [that] contains a dozen accusations of conduct unbecoming an officer, verbal abuse and excessive force."

In 2011, it was Rende who tased and beat a drunken fan at PNC Park, garnering cries of, you guessed it, "excessive force."

Now, it’s Rende once again caught on video behaving in an overly aggressive manner, waving his taser at a woman before chasing down a drunk man and pushing him to the ground by holding a taser to his neck. Afterward, he kind of flips out at the bystanders and the man, who was apologetic.

The reason Frank Rende still has a job on the city's payroll can easily be summed up as 1. family connections (Rende's sister was living with the former head of city operations Dennis Regan, who quit when it was revealed he interfered in the investigation of Rende’s misconduct) and 2. the union. The union can make it so hard to fire an officer, even if the officer has clearly conducted himself or herself in a manner that would easily have gotten them fired at any other job on the planet. More often than not, you'll hear they're "suspended with pay."

So Lukey tiptoed around the issue, despite the fact that it seemed Rende had done more than enough to lose his job on multiple occasions.



Until now. Now that Rende is again caught on tape blowing a gasket, Ravenstahl is not saying what he would have said six months ago: "Myself and other individuals will be looking into this matter and we will take all of the information into consideration as we determine the best course of ... "

BLAH BLAH BLAH.

A man who no longer has to worry about reelection or keeping unions happy? Well, he sees that video and just says what everyone on earth is thinking:

"Somebody better give me a real good reason why this guy should not be fired," Ravenstahl said.

Excuse me a moment.

[thud]

Okay, I'm back.

I almost couldn't believe it. Luke Ravenstahl, speaking like a man. Speaking like a human. Chuck Norris-roundhouse-kicking the PoliticoSpeak 2.0 software to the proverbial curb and saying what needed to be said without fear of repercussion.

Gone is the use of 25 words when three would suffice. The only way Ravenstahl could be any more straightforward is if he had said, "This guy? SO fired."

But yes, regardless of whether or not Robocop Rende actually fired the taser, he's had more than enough chances to show he can be a good cop, and if Ravenstahl is using this incident to finally do what should have been done all the way back in 2000, then good for him. Rende clearly lost his cool again and it's only a matter of time before the city is faced with an enormous lawsuit when he goes way too far. Frank Rende is a liability, plain and simple.

There is no other Pittsburgh cop I've encountered in my voracious reading of the news who has been involved in as many public controversies as Rende. Real talk: He's a firecracker waiting to explode.

Or as the NEW Luke Ravenstahl would say, "Let's can this guy before he goes all KABLOOEY."

Amen, Luke.
 

More from PittGirl:

How to Win 1,000 Best Mom Ever Points in 10 Minutes

How to Win 1,000 Best Mom Ever Points in 10 Minutes

You can 3-D print your own custom toys right here in Pittsburgh. Right now. For $10.
4 Holier-Than-Thou Rules for Bandwagon Pirates Fans

4 Holier-Than-Thou Rules for Bandwagon Pirates Fans

Welcome to the family, newbies. Just don’t break these Commandments.
What Rocco Taught Me

What Rocco Taught Me

The passing of K9 Officer Rocco changed PittGirl's perspective on animals.
7 Rare Photos of Roberto Clemente

7 Rare Photos of Roberto Clemente

The Carnegie Museum of Art gives us a peek at its new Teenie Harris photography exhibition.

On the Blogs


Everything That's Awesome About Pittsburgh Today
Pittsburgh is the 15th-Best City in America for Millennials, According to Millennials

Pittsburgh is the 15th-Best City in America for Millennials, According to Millennials

Half a million college students can’t be wrong.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
How to Win 1,000 Best Mom Ever Points in 10 Minutes

How to Win 1,000 Best Mom Ever Points in 10 Minutes

You can 3-D print your own custom toys right here in Pittsburgh. Right now. For $10.

Comments


Award-winning sports commentary by Sean Conboy
Steelers Will Declare a 'No-Fly Zone' With First Round Pick

Steelers Will Declare a 'No-Fly Zone' With First Round Pick

Save yourself from countless nonsensical mock drafts. The Steelers are locked in on one player.

Comments


Chocolate-Almond Cream Tartlets

Chocolate-Almond Cream Tartlets

The perfect little dessert for Passover (plus thoughts on cooking).

Comments


Bar Exam: The Independent Brewing Co.

Bar Exam: The Independent Brewing Co.

Beer nerds of Pittsburgh, rejoice: IBC (no, not the root beer) is here.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Sensational Strands

Sensational Strands

Vintage and visibly stunning, this necklace is sure to please.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Fukuda Brings Back Lunch, Better Than Before

Fukuda Brings Back Lunch, Better Than Before

New chef Micah Maughan and executive chef TJ are offering the usual bento boxes along with additions including Indian vegetarian curry.

Comments


This week's buzz from the PM editors
Go Back in Time at The Oaks Theater

Go Back in Time at The Oaks Theater

Stop in tonight for a screening of "Dirty Dancing," and cross your fingers that the cinema will show another '80s flick at some point.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Pitt Receives $300,000 NFL Grant for Concussion Research

Pitt Receives $300,000 NFL Grant for Concussion Research

Grant will fund a joint effort by UPMC and Pitt to assess the ability of new brain imaging technology to track concussions and recoveries.

Comments