PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The defense has begun its case in the civil trial of three Pittsburgh police officers accused in connection with the beating of a former CAPA student two years ago.
The prosecution rested this morning and the defense began its case with Pittsburgh Police Officer David Wright who is in charge of use-of-force training at the police academy.
During his testimony, Wright explained how a Taser works and also explained the various levels of force officers are trained to use.
On cross examination, the plaintiff’s attorney, Kerrington Lewis, pointed out that defendant officer, Michael Saldutte, trained at the gym Wright owns and that the two have competed in martial arts tournaments.
Wright was also asked on cross examination to recall his deposition before trial in which he said he was asked to assess the actions of the officers before the Office of Municipal Investigation had provided the officers’ sworn statements to him.
When asked by Miles’ attorney whether officers are trained in what’s called “punitive force,” Wright testified that when a subject’s resistance stops that’s when police force should stop.
The case continues this afternoon. KDKA’s Harold Hayes reports from court that Saldutte has taken the stand.
“I saw a figure standing up against the side of the house. I said, ‘What’s that guy doing?’” Ewing then said, “‘I got him. What is he doing?’”
“He saw us and stopped and put his right hand in his pocket. I was wearing my badge. I held up my badge and said, ‘Pittsburgh Police. Take your hand out of your pocket.’”
“He rotated and turned to point to where he lived and I saw he had a bulge in his pocket where he had his right hand. I asked, ‘Why are you hanging around someone else’s house?’ He didn’t have an answer and started walking away.”
“I said, ‘Stop!’ and he didn’t stop. He took off running. He fell flat on the ground. He started getting up and in the struggle he struck my head with his elbow. I fell forward and he just ran up the sidewalk. I heard Sisak say, ‘Pittsburgh Police, stop you’re under arrest!’ and I heard his taser go off.”
“Mr. Miles wasn’t affected by the taser. Officer Sisak tackled him. They went over the garbage can and through the hedges. Jordan Miles used his leg and kicked Dave in his leg and Dave collapsed.”
“Ewing performed a leg sweep. I tried to bear-hug him and felt something hard hit my left arm. I thought he had a gun.”
“I started delivering knee strikes and he said, ‘Dont take me to jail just let me go home.’ He started flipping out. Once he was cuffed and under control I stuck my hand in his pocket and found a bottle if Mountain Dew. I threw it aside.”
Stay with KDKA for the latest details.
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