PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Jurors began deliberating in the civil trial of the three Pittsburgh police officers accused of using excessive force against a former CAPA student.
Jordan Miles, now 20, claims he was stopped by police in Homewood and beaten without cause back in January of 2010. But the officers say they thought he may have been armed and tried to run.
The day got underway with the three defense attorneys for the police officers presenting their closing arguments.
“He is like the boy who cried wolf. He told his mother and grandmother a story … three men jumped out of a car and beat him. He never knew his story was going to go beyond his mother and grandmother,” Officer Saldutte’s attorney Bruce Campbell said.
Campbell implied Jordan never meant his story to go to the police, FBI or Office of Municipal Investigations or in court.
But Miles’ attorney J. Kerrington Lewis said Miles had already written his story down when they met him in his own words.
“This was no street thug. Was he terrified? Of course he was. Was he telling the truth? Of course he was. So he ran,” Lewis said.
Lewis said Miles was trying to get away from the three police officers on Tioga Street that night.
The jurors have heard nine days of testimony from experts, the three officers, the Pittsburgh Police chief, Miles’ family and friends and Miles himself.
Miles took the stand on July 19. During his hours of testimony, he recounted his version of what happened on the night of the incident.
The three officers took their turns testifying on July 26 and July 31.
During his testimony on July 31, Officer David Sisak explained his actions after learning Miles may have had a gun.
“[Officer Michael Saldutte] says, ‘He’s going for a gun,’” Sisak said. “I punched [Miles] in the face. The only other thing I have is my gun. I did what I thought was the right thing. If he pulls out a gun, he’s right in front of me. I have a pregnant wife at home.”
No criminal charges were ever filed in the case.
The case asks for $75,000 in cost, but damages could go much higher if the jury rules in Miles’ favor.