PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Closing arguments are set to begin Thursday morning after days of testimony in the civil re-trial for three Pittsburgh Police officers accused of using excessive force against a former CAPA student.
Officer Richard Ewing, testifying as a defense witness on Wednesday morning, was cross-examined by Jordan Miles’ attorney, Joel Sansone, and was questioned about his previous testimony.
“When you testified that after Officer Saldutte was hit in the head by Jordan Miles, it was 30 seconds until he recovered?” Sansone said.
“Yes,” replied Ewing.
Sansone then paused and looked at his watch for a full 30 seconds and asked, “Are you saying it took him that long to recover from that hit?”
“That was about how long it took,” Ewing said.
Later, Sansone held up a picture of Miles’ injuries and asked, “You did all this in three minutes?”
“He did that to himself,” Ewing said.
The next witness on the stand was former Philadelphia Police Inspector and former New Britain, Pa. Police Chief Joseph Stine.
Stone now owns a consulting firm hired by the defense as an expert witness.
He said he believes the officers were justified in their actions.
He testified he charges $2,500 per day to testify in this case.
Stine, under questioning by plaintiff’s attorney Robert Giroux, testified that he estimates his bill to the city for his services as a defense expert since the beginning of this case in 2010 could add up to between $30,000 and $50,000.
Under questioning by defense attorney Robert Leight though, Stine was asked, “Was it reasonable to suspect that Mr. Miles was armed?”
“Yes,” Stine said. “If I were teaching officers in a class, I could use this example.”
Leight: Was the fact that this is a high-crime area factor into this?
Leight: Was the fact that he ran a factor?
Stine: Yes. Flight can cause a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
However, under cross examination, Sansone asked him to examine the situation from Miles’ account.
Sansone: If you accept Miles’ version of what happened, if they jumped him without identifying themselves as police officers, would they have been wrong to do that?
Stine: Yes. They would have been wrong, but they would have had to conspire amongst themselves to ignore their training and do something inherently unsafe by deliberately not identifying themselves. And that is unlikely.
After Stine’s testimony, the defense rested its case. Closing arguments will begin Thursday morning.