PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After the jury in the first civil trial deadlocked on whether the three officers falsely arrested and used excessive force on Jordan Miles, the Miles family vowed to pursue a new trial.
“They can’t make up their minds and perhaps a new jury can do a little better,” said Miles’ attorney J. Kerringan Lewis.
But under a ruling Monday, those charges may be even tougher to prove.
Judge David Cercone ruled the defense may introduce evidence regarding bullets and a magazine found near the scene – evidence that was not allowed in the first trial. The defense believes its introduction now may bolster the officers’ claim that they believed Miles to be armed.
James Wymard, who represents one of the officers told KDKA, “We think this is something that jury ought to know. We thought they should have known it in the first trial.”
Miles – then a student at CAPA – ran that night on Tioga Street in Homewood, when approached by three officers who chased and tackled him.
His attorneys have argued that he was unarmed and needlessly and excessively beaten. The officers maintained they saw a bulge in Miles’ pants, believing it to be a gun. It later turned out to be a bottle of Mountain Dew.
Miles’ attorney Joel Sansone says no gun was ever found and that the bullets and the magazine found days later near the scene bear no relation to Miles.
And in the next few days, Judge Cercone will rule on a motion that may be detrimental to the defense – namely the career histories of the three officers and whether they were accused of using excessive force in the past. That evidence was also inadmissible in the first trial.