PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With both Jordan Miles and the three Pittsburgh Police officers claiming a win after Monday’s split jury verdict, Mayor Bill Peduto played it down the middle.
“In a way, that decision was a split decision, going in both ways. It really is reflective of the way people in this city view this case,” Peduto said.
A jury found police made a false arrest of Miles, but had not engaged in excessive force in restraining him.
Peduto noted this was a civil case brought by Miles, as both local and federal prosecutors found no basis for criminal charges against the officers.
“In a criminal case, they would have been prosecuted by a [district attorney] or U.S. attorney. Those usually would come with a sentencing phase as well. Civil trials don’t. There’s a difference. I know the public has a lot of concerns because they are using this as almost like a criminal case,” Peduto said.
As for calls that the officers be fired, the mayor demurred.
“Whatever the potential for us to take action against those officers has to be on a consistent basis with other civil trials. So, we are looking at what the options are for the city, what the Public Safety and law department are recommending for any actions that may be taken,” Peduto said.
As for the award, it will be city taxpayers who pay the $119,000 awarded to Miles.
“The hit that the city will take are minimal compared to what the four years have done to the city and its relationship between police and the community,” Peduto said.
The mayor noted that both sides may have other legal options, so he wanted to be careful in saying too much.
As for disciplinary actions, if any, against the three police officers, Peduto hopes to hear recommendations from public safety officials and the city solicitor in the next week or so.