PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The civil re-trial continues for three Pittsburgh Police officers who are accused of using excessive force against a former CAPA student.
Jordan Miles says he was just walking along the street when the three officers started beating him.
This morning, the second officer – Richard Ewing – testified that he believed Miles was armed with a gun during the encounter.
The jury also heard the 911 calls made from the scene.
Last week, 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.
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.
The jury heard the police dispatch audio of police calls on the night of their encounter with Jordan Miles. One transmission reads:
“Five-oh-two is en route. We … did you chase this guy?”
“Yeah, a lil’ bit,” was the response.
Miles’ attorneys wondered why Miles wasn’t given a higher priority call for treatment.
But on the stand today, Officer Richard Ewing, one of the defendants, testified he still thinks Miles was armed and that his injuries are the result of Miles decision to run.
“I never saw him throw anything, or see anything fall from his pocket,” Ewing testified.
“Do you still think my client had a weapon?” the attorney asked.
“Yes, sir. Once a magazine was found, yes. I jumped to the conclusion, it was a Mountain Dew bottle,” Ewing said.
The magazine he referred to was a gun clip discovered later, for which there’s been plenty of debate.
“There was a clip found at the scene supposedly and later in the day, that same day it was gone,” says Miles’ attorney Joel Sansone. “Now we don’t know where all this evidence went. We know that it wasn’t my client or his family that took it because they weren’t there. They were at the jail and at the hospital.”
Ewing, though, stuck to his support for the officers actions.
Sansone asked Ewing, “If you had to do it all again you wouldn’t do anything different would you?”
“No, I wouldn’t. We didn’t have any choice,” he replied
Also today, neighbor Patricia Coleman testified she heard calls for help that night, but never heard anyone yell “Pittsburgh Police.” She also says she spotted some of Miles’ hair braids on her walkway, which seemed to appear and disappear in succeeding days.
“When Ms. Coleman, who has no dog in this race, came out in the morning, she saw hair braids all over the ground,” said Sansone. “When she came back, long before my people got back from Shadyside Hospital with their son, the hair braids were gone.”
The third officer is expected on the stand tomorrow and Jordan Miles himself could take the stand by mid-week.