Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jordan Miles jury finds for Pittsburgh police in partial verdict - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

An eight-member jury is on its way to a federal courtroom to announce a partial verdict in the Jordan Miles civil trial, court personnel advised reporters in an email today. The announcement will be made shortly in courtroom 8A of the U.S. Courthouse, Downtown.

The partial verdict suggests the end is close for a three-week trial in which Mr. Miles, 20, accused Pittsburgh police officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak of beating, falsely arresting and maliciously prosecuting him.

Mr. Miles testified that he was walking down Homewood's Tioga Street, from his mother's house to his grandmother's house, on Jan. 12, 2010, when an unmarked car with three plainclothes officers pulled up.

He said they did not identify themselves as police and jumped out of the car demanding to know where he had drugs, guns and money.

He said they chased him down and beat him, before and after handcuffing him, then charged him with aggravated assault, loitering, escape and resisting arrest -- charges that were later dropped.

The officers have countered that they saw Mr. Miles hiding beside a neighbor's house, identified themselves as police and became suspicious when he said it was not his home.

They said they mistook a bulge in his coat caused by a Mountain Dew bottle -- of which the plaintiff denied the existence -- for a gun, and when he ran, they gave chase.

He elbowed Officer Saldutte in the head and kicked Officer Sisak, they testified, and resisted arrest until Officer Ewing stunned him with a knee strike to the head.

They vehemently denied using force after he was handcuffed.

The case has engendered more tension between representatives of city communities, especially African-American neighborhoods, and police than any since the 1995 death of Jonny Gammage in a suburban traffic stop.

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