Monday, January 25, 2010
What Concerned Citizens Can Do In Regards To This Matter...
CAPA High School senior Jordan Miles, 18, of Homewood is recovering from injuries allegedly sustained at the hands of Pittsburgh police.
1. Attend the 9:00 a.m. news conference on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at the City-County Building, Fifth Floor in front of City Council Chambers.
2. Drop off (in person) letters of protest, with regard to the incident, to the Mayor’s Office.
3. Speak to City Council Members at the 10:00 a.m. January 26, 2010 regularly scheduled City Council hearing.
4. Speak to the City Police Review Board at the 6:00 p.m. hearing in City Council Chambers on January 26, 2010.
Mother Alleges Son Brutalized By Police
CAPA High School senior Jordan Miles, 18, of Homewood was in the hospital Jan. 13 after an alleged beating by plainclothes police officers the day before.
By Jeremy Boren and Adam Brandolph
Saturday, January 23, 2010
The mother of a high school senior who performed for first lady Michelle Obama while she was in Pittsburgh in September says her son did not deserve to be "brutally attacked" by police officers outside his home earlier this month.
"Jordan is an excellent kid. He's very quiet and takes school seriously," said his mother, Terez Miles, 38. "He knows nothing about drugs, drug dealing or anything like that. He didn't deserve this."
Jordan Miles, 18, a senior at the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, Downtown, alleges that three Pittsburgh police officers beat him during an arrest outside his house on Tioga Street in Homewood about 11 p.m. on Jan. 12.
The city Office of Municipal Investigations is looking into a complaint filed by Miles, whom officers said kicked and elbowed them when they tried to arrest him.
The officers involved in the incident were Richard Ewing, David Sisak and Michael Saldutte, according to court records. Each officer was hired in September 2005 and is paid a base salary of $56,150 a year, the rate for fourth-year officers.
Police Chief Nate Harper said all three officers were reassigned from their plainclothes unit to uniformed duties. Harper said no further action will be taken until the investigation is complete.
Miles' mother is "angry" and "frustrated" that the officers have not been more seriously reprimanded.
"I feel like they should be fired," she said. "There's no way they can justify what they did."
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl yesterday called the allegations "very troubling."
"It seems as if there was a tremendous amount of force used," Ravenstahl said a day after news broke about the incident. "The question now needs to be answered: Was it appropriate use of force?"
Ravenstahl said the complaint is being taken "very seriously." If the amount of force the police used wasn't appropriate, "they will be held accountable," he said.
Through his attorney, J. Kerrington Lewis, Miles said he fought to defend himself from what he thought was an attack because the officers did not identify themselves as police officers and they were not wearing uniforms.
"We've lived in Homewood all our lives," Terez Miles said. "I've told him to be wary of people that might want to do him harm, but I never imagined it would be police officers that would attack and brutally beat him up."
In a criminal complaint, the officers contend they identified themselves and that Saldutte held up a police badge attached to a necklace.
Miles suffered a swollen face, hair ripped from his scalp and a twig jabbed through his gum during the incident, his mother said. Miles has not returned to CAPA, where he is an honors student and plays the viola, his mother said.
Miles played his instrument for the first lady and the spouses of the delegates of the Group of 20 economic summit when they visited CAPA.
Miles was treated at West Penn Hospital in Bloomfield. Sisak was treated at UPMC Mercy, Uptown, for unspecified injuries, according to the complaint. In a report, Ewing said the officers knocked Miles to the ground and struck him with their knees and fists after an attempt to incapacitate him with a Taser failed.
Police first tried to question Miles because he was outside in a poorly lit area at 11 p.m. and appeared to have a weapon in the right pocket of his heavy coat. The item turned out to be a bottle of Mountain Dew. Police said Miles ran away from them, refused to comply with commands and struggled when they tried to handcuff him. Miles was on his way from his mother's house to his grandmother's, where he often sleeps, his mother said.
Elizabeth Pittinger, executive director of the Citizen Police Review Board, said the officers should be reprimanded, offering an alternative assignment to the warrant office or desk duty where they wouldn't have interaction with the public.
"They should just be taken off the street until this is resolved," she said.
Miles has been accepted to Pennsylvania State University, where he wants to study to be a crime scene investigator, a dream that may be in jeopardy because of the pending criminal charges, his mother said.
"I hope the charges against my son will be dropped. He's completely innocent," she said. "I'm just glad they didn't kill him."
Images and text copyright © 2010 by The Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Posted by tha artivist at 8:33 PM