Jordan Miles seeks new civil trial

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Attorneys for Jordan Miles filed a motion Thursday seeking a new civil trial for the Homewood man in regard to his allegations that Pittsburgh police beat, falsely arrested and maliciously prosecuted him in 2010.

In August, six of eight jurors in a U.S. District Court trial voted in favor of the three officers who were accused by Mr. Miles of excessive force and false arrest in a 2010 encounter, resulting in a mistrial. All of the jurors voted in favor of the officers on a malicious prosecution count, resulting in a partial defense verdict.

Mr. Miles' attorneys, J. Kerrington Lewis and Tim O'Brien, wrote in their motion that the judge should have told the jury that an arrest without probable cause is enough to find malice and justify a malicious prosecution verdict. The attorneys also argued that they should have been able to introduce evidence of past allegations against, and discipline of, the officers.

Bryan Campbell, an attorney for one of the accused officers, said he did not think the plaintiff's attorneys would win on those points.

"The court sort of told the parties that, hey, look, you're just to try [the case] on what took place that night, and the facts of that night," Mr. Campbell said. "I don't think there can be any different issues [presented], really, and I think that both sides presented their evidence. ... The only thing that will be different is there will be different jurors."

Mr. Lewis filed a similar motion in early September, but U.S. District Chief Judge Gary Lancaster, who heard the first trial, rejected it as premature.

Mr. Miles, 20, of Homewood, claimed that city officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak stopped him at night on Jan. 12, 2010, on Tioga Street, as he walked from his mother's house to his grandmother's house. He said they did not identify themselves and beat and arrested him.

The officers told a jury that they saw Mr. Miles acting suspiciously between two houses. They said that when they identified themselves and tried to question him, he ran. They mistakenly thought he had a gun and arrested him using only the force necessary, the officers said.

Mr. Ewing resigned from the city this week to take a job with the McCandless police.

neigh_city

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1542


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