PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The second civil trial brought by Jordan Miles against three police officers continued with more testimony on Thursday.
Pittsburgh Police Officer David Sisak, who is one of the defendants in the case, was on the stand this morning after being called by the plaintiffs. That is unique to this second trial.
Sisak and his co-defendants were called only as defense witnesses in the first trial. In federal civil proceedings, plaintiffs are permitted to call defendants to the stand.
In often combative exchanges with Miles’ attorney, Robert Giroux, Sisak revealed that his concerns about crime in Homewood have a personal aspect.
“My next door neighbor is in a wheelchair because he was shot in Homewood,” Sisak said.
He often accused Giroux of trying to twist his words as Giroux pointed to various accounts Sisak gave in previous hearings and depositions.
“You’re trying to put words in my mouth,” said Sisak often.
Sisak admitted he did not initially see Miles doing anything wrong when police first confronted him late at night in his Homewood neighborhood.
However, once Miles told police he lived a few doors down from the house where they first saw him, “It changes everything,” Sisak said. “If he lives down the street, why is he sneaking around this house? It’s a bad area. Do you [Giroux] go up and roam around at 11 o’clock at night?”
At one point, Giroux asked Sisak to demonstrate to the jury how he tackled Miles and how Miles kicked Sisak, according to his recollection.
Federal Judge David Cercone allowed the demonstration, but given the tone of their exchanges the judge reminded them, “Don’t actually kick him.”
The two demonstrated Sisak’s version of events on the courtroom floor in front of the jury box.
After the plaintiff’s attorney questions, the officer’s own attorney will question him as part of the defense case so that Sisak won’t be called to the stand twice.