Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jordan Miles 'one of the best people I have,' boss says - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Attorneys for three Pittsburgh police today called a witness who heaped effusive praise on Jordan Miles, the young man who accused the officers of beating him in an encounter two and a half years ago.

"Jordan is one of the best people I have at my store," said Casey Rothermund, manager of an Oakland CVS Pharmacy store where Mr. Miles works. "I wish I could clone him into four or five more. My life would be perfect."

Mr. Miles could become a store manager, Mr. Rothermund testified.

Attorneys for officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak were apparently trying to tell the jury that Mr. Miles, 20, has no disability related to the incident, and to suggest that he may be exaggerating his difficulties.

Mr. Miles' attorneys sought to turn Mr. Rothermund's testimony to their advantage.

"Have you ever known him to make up a story about something that wasn't true?" asked Timothy O'Brien, one of Mr. Miles' attorneys.

The defense objected.

"Has he ever disobeyed something that he was told to do?" Mr. O'Brien asked.

"No," Mr. Rothermund said.

Later, Dr. Thomas Martin, who saw Mr. Miles at the emergency room of West Penn Hospital within a half-hour of the incident, said he found only "soft tissue swelling" and a two-inch twig embedded in Mr. Miles' gum, and no sign of concussion. He said an abrasion and swelling to Mr. Miles' forehead could have been consistent with an impact with a bush, but later said it could also reflect a strike with a flashlight.

Pittsburgh police Officer Lisa McCoy, who works in the evidence gathering unit, testified to the location of braids of hair found at the scene of the incident, which the officers' attorneys have said supports their account of events.

The officers were not criminally charged, and five counts filed by the officers against Mr. Miles were dismissed. Mr. Miles has sued the officers for false arrest, illegal search and seizure, malicious prosecution and excessive force.

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