PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The civil re-trial for three Pittsburgh Police officers accused of using excessive force against a former CAPA student continued Wednesday.
Jordan Miles was expected to take the stand, but cross-examination of his mother took longer than expected. So, he will now take the stand Thursday.
The last time Miles testified in court was July 2012. Back then, he testified that he didn’t know that the three men after him were police.
KDKA’s David Highfield Reports:
He said they asked: “Where’s your gun, money and drugs? They didn’t identify themselves as police. I thought I was being robbed. One man got on my back and began striking me in my head. Somebody was sitting me. I was terrified.”
On Tuesday, the last of the three officers testified.
Michael Saldutte said he felt an object in Miles’ pocket during the struggle and he thought it was a gun.
He said it turned out to be a bottle of Mountain Dew.
On Wednesday morning, Jordan Miles’ mother, Terez, was on the stand.
A sometimes tearful Terez Miles testified that her son did not have a bottle of Mountain Dew in his pocket when he left her home to go to his grandmother’s house.
She said he doesn’t like Mountain Dew and that his drink of choice is juice. But, she testified he carried no bottle in his coat when he left home.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes Reports:
When his grandmother called and asked why Jordan had not arrived, she said, “I figured something horrible happened. He always told us where he was going.”
“Why didn’t you go looking for him,” asked attorney Joel Sansone.
“I didn’t want to find my son’s body. If he didn’t get to her house in two minutes, what else could it have been?” she said. “I was in a panic. I soaked my pillow with tears all night.”
She said her son told her from jail, “Mom, I was arrested and I don’t know why and they beat me so bad and I don’t know why.”
At the jail, as prisoners were being released she noticed a young man coming toward her.
“I was getting uncomfortable. I wondered who he was. I thought he was going to ask me for money. Then he said, ‘Mom I need to go to the hospital,’” she said.
“I said, ‘Is this Jordan?’ I didn’t recognize the face at all. I went hysterical.”
KDKA’s Harold Hayes Reports:
The defense carefully challenged her assertion that Miles had problems staying in college because of ongoing physical and emotional issues.
“All the records seem to indicate the reason he dropped out of school wasn’t because he wasn’t capable of doing the work. He was homesick,” said Brian Campbell, the defense attorney.
“What’s astonishing to me is how the defense could possibly try to attack this woman who spent most of her life just trying to make her kids get through a very difficult situation,” said Sansone.
Late this afternoon, a doctor who treated Jordan Miles testified that even a year and eight months after the incident, Miles still showed signs of trauma.
The art student filed a civil suit claiming three Pittsburgh Police officers used excessive force.
While the jury was listening to testimony inside the courthouse, a group of people rallied outside holding signs in support of Miles.
“We want Jordan to know that he is not alone and four years later, we are still standing here,” Brandi Fisher said.
“The public really needs to know what the truth is and I’m hopeful that this trial will bring it out,” Celeste Taylor said.
Those demonstrating said they want the three police officers to be held accountable for their actions the night Miles was arrested.