Officers opposing admission of evidence, new trial in Jordan Miles case | Pittsburgh City Paper

Officers opposing admission of evidence, new trial in Jordan Miles case

Jordan Miles
  • Jordan Miles

Attorneys for the three officers accused of beating then-CAPA High School student Jordan Miles in 2010 Homewood are opposing the young man’s attempts to use prior claims of misconduct against the officers in a second civil lawsuit. And despite Miles' request, they also oppose a new trial on claims of malicious prosecution.

Miles sued the city and officers Michael Saldutte, David Sisak and Richard Ewing following a civil trial last year that lasted several weeks, the jury, seven white members and one black member, found that the officers did not maliciously prosecute Miles, however they deadlocked on the more serious charges of false arrest and excessive force. Saldutte and Sisak are still employed with the city police department, however Ewing is now an officer in McCandless.

Miles was an 18-year-old CAPA High School student on Jan. 12, 2010 when he had an altercation with the three officers in his Homewood neighborhood. He says he was simply walking to his grandmother's home in Homewood when the officers approached him without identifying themselves. Thinking he was going to be robbed, Miles ran; he claims the police chased him down, beat him severely while pulling chunks of hair from his head.

The three officers claim they saw Miles skulking around a neighbor’s house at 11 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2010. They stopped him and identified themselves, they say. And they say Miles had a bulge in his jacket, acted like he had a gun and ran. They say he later assaulted Sisak and Saldutte and was the aggressor in the altercation, despite being outweighed by the officers’ combined weight of more than 600 pounds. Charges against him, however, were later dropped.

Late last month Miles’ attorneys asked for a new trial and they want the judge to allow testimony regarding past conduct by the officers that they say is similar to the Miles’ situation. They also want the judge to allow the new trial to include the already-disposed of malicious prosecution charge. Miles attorneys claim the judge erred in not instructing the jury that they could find the officers acted with malice if they believe they didn’t have probable cause to stop him.