Jury Clears 1 Officer, Deadlocks On Other In Leon Ford Civil Rights Trial

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A jury has cleared one Pittsburgh police officer and deadlocked on charges against a second in a civil rights lawsuit filed by a black man paralyzed when he was shot during a traffic stop.

Jurors returned the partial verdict Monday, three days after they told the federal judge they were deadlocked in the lawsuit filed by 24-year-old Leon Ford against white officers David Derbish and Andrew Miller.

The officers say Derbish shot Ford five times during the November 2012 traffic stop because Ford tried to drive away as they struggled inside Ford’s vehicle.

But Ford says the car was inadvertently knocked into gear.

Jurors were deadlocked on the excessive force charges against Derbish. They cleared Miller of assault and battery charges.

The judge will schedule a retrial for next year.

Mayor Bill Peduto issued a statement saying the city will remain in contact with Ford:

“Nothing, including this suit, could ever erase the tragic circumstances Mr. Ford, the officers and their families have been through the past five years. Obviously it has caused great concern among the greater Pittsburgh community as well.

The city will remain in communication with Mr. Ford, his attorneys and attorneys for the officers to address next steps in the case.”

Ford’s attorneys criticize police, saying their client was wrongly pulled over in a case of mistaken identity. They contend that his civil rights were violated, and he was intimidated, threatened, terrorized, and ultimately, left paralyzed.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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