Jordan Miles Testifies in Civil Trial against Three Pittsburgh Police Officers Accused in Beating
Jordan Miles gave details Thursday about the night he was beaten by three plain clothes police officers. In day three of the civil suit trial against the officers, the young man said he was terrified of the men.
Miles took the stand and outlined the events that took place the night of January 12, 2010. That's when three white police officers beat and, he said, wrongfully arrested him. Miles said he didn't realize the men were police officers, which is why he ran from them and resisted arrest.
The officers in the courtroom shook their heads in disagreement over several of the details Miles offered. The young black man said he was beaten, even after being handcuffed, and choked when he began praying. He maintains he thought he was being robbed, because he said the men asked where the drugs, gun and money were. He said when a marked police van arrived he was relieved, thinking he was being saved, only to realize he was being arrested and the men who beat him were officers.
Under cross examination, attorneys for the officers tried to get Miles to say he knew earlier they were police and fought because he didn't want to go to jail, but Miles firmly stated he did not. Officer David Sisek's Attorney, Jim Wymard, said Miles must have known they were officers when he was being handcuffed because one only hears of police using handcuffs, and doesn't hear about robbers and thugs using them.
Miles replied that he was terrified and had never heard of cops beating someone, especially when they'd done nothing wrong, as Miles has said was the case with him.
The officers, Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak, have said they had reason to stop Miles because they believed he was a prowler, possibly armed with a gun. Miles was walking from him mother's house to his grandmother's house on the night of the incident, a walk he said he made daily.
Before Jordan Miles took the stand, the principal of CAPA, the high school he attended, described him as a courteous, mild-mannered, jovial student who overall did well in school. She said he made the honor roll numerous times and qualified for the Pittsburgh Promise.
That all changed after the beating incident. He was out of school for three weeks, but did graduate and went on to college. But he had trouble keeping up with his classes and said his level of comprehension and ability to do math are not at the same level as before, so he left school. Attorneys for the officers tried to paint Miles as a less than stellar school student, whose strong suit was never math.
Miles said he wants to go back to school, but isn't ready just yet. He also said there have been physical changes: he now suffers from headaches, migraines, aches and pains in his knees and ankles, a brain injury, and has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. He said he still has flashbacks and nightmares about the incident.
No criminal charges were filed against the three officers, as Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala has said this was "not a prosecutable case."