Jury sees Pennsylvania official block Detroit cops in video

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News
Khari Mosley, foreground, who is the husband of Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner, sits during his trial in the courtroom of Judge Kenneth King, Thursday, July 11, 2019, at 36th District Court in Detroit.  Seated behind him is defense attorney Kevin Mincey.

Detroit — A Pittsburgh businessman appeared drunk and continuously confrontational and his wife, a county official in Pennsylvania, ignored repeated police orders and tried to block their attempts to evict him from a local hotel, according to testimony and evidence Friday in 36th District Court.

County prosecutors presented about 25 minutes of videos, including from the body cameras of two city police officers and a police cruiser, in the trial of the businessman, Khari Mosley.

Throughout, an agitated Mosley attempts to persuade staff and security guards at the Westin Book Cadillac to let him into the room he shared with his wife, Chelsa Wagner, the controller of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

In a loud voice, often gesturing adamantly, Mosley repeatedly taunts police and hotel staff with accusations of harassment and discrimination, while Officer Edmond Witcher  attempts to reunite him with his wife.

“You all are not up on the Constitution in Michigan,” Mosley says in a police video.

He repeatedly criticizes hotel staff and security who are black for their treatment of him.

“Don’t give me that brother stuff, now!’’ says Mosley, who is black.

It is Witcher, a 19-year veteran of the force answering a call from hotel staff at the landmark on Washington Boulevard, who finally goes to room 1002 to see if the woman registered there is Mosley’s wife.

The video from his body camera shows the door ajar when Witcher arrives at the room with hotel security.

He expresses concern for his safety and enters the room cautiously.

As he calls out for anyone who might be present, Witcher expresses concern about the safety of the occupant.

Then he finds Wagner under sheets, giggling, in bed.

He eventually pronounces her intoxicated, saying to someone nearby, “She’s wasted, dude.”

When Witcher, other police officers and hotel staff walk a loud Mosley up to his room, a video shows the defendant adamantly refusing to enter it.

Standing down the hall from the door he has been trying to enter for about an hour amid increasing tensions, Mosley holds his hands above his head as if to surrender.

He says to Witcher and hotel staff, “I’m going to stand here until you all go in!”

Later, in the extended conflict, the video from Witcher’s body camera shows Wagner struggling with him to block the door to the room as police attempt to re-enter it.

She grabs him by the arms and contorts her body to obstruct more of the doorway, as he tries to push in.

As police and hotel security move Mosley on to an elevator to evict him from the hotel, Wagner enters the elevator first, ignores five orders to leave and engages in a struggle with police trying to block them, the video shows.

Mosley tells Wagner, "They are bugging out, Chelsa!"

Mosley is charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace; both misdemeanors.

Wagner is not on trial in this case. But she has been in the courthouse, along with a few media outlets from western Pennsylvania.

She is charged with a felony, resisting and obstructing a police officer, and a misdemeanor, disorderly conduct.

Mosley’s lawyer, Charles Longstreet, told District Court Judge Kenneth King the businessman will testify Monday when the trial resumes.