New trial date set in Jordan Miles case against Pittsburgh police

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The second trial in the civil case filed by Jordan Miles against two Pittsburgh police officers and one former officer is now set to start Nov. 4.

The trial on the Homewood man's allegations had been slated for July 8, roughly one year after the start of the first trial that ended in a hung jury on two counts and a defense verdict on the third.

Two key changes have occurred since the first trial ended.

The original trial judge, Gary L. Lancaster, has died and U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone has been assigned the case.

And Mr. Miles' legal team has been joined by attorneys Joel Sansone, based Downtown, and Robert M. Giroux of the Detroit firm called Feiger Law and led by Geoffrey Feiger.

Mr. Miles was a high school senior and viola player at the time of the January 2010 stop on a Homewood street. He accused officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak of beating him. They said he ran when questioned and resisted arrest, and claimed they thought he had a gun.

Officer Ewing has since left the city police force.

"We wanted to go July 8," said Robert Leight, attorney for one of the three officers accused of excessive force and false arrest.

He said the officers want to put the matter behind them.

"We don't even have a complete transcript yet" of the first trial, said Mr. Sansone, after a closed-door status conference on the case. "We expect to be fully ready when the judge calls us to pick a jury, and at that time we expect that the people of the Western District [of Pennsylvania] will bring justice for this family. Bob [Giroux] is a lawyer of great expertise and great reputation with a very strong history in civil rights cases."

He said Mr. Miles' original trial attorneys, Timothy P. O'Brien and J. Kerrington Lewis, will help in pretrial preparation, calling them "extremely talented professionals."

Mr. Sansone said he will seek to reverse Judge Lancaster's decision not to allow retrial on the malicious prosecution count for which the jury exonerated the officers. He will also pursue entering into evidence information on past discipline of the officers.

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Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 and on Twitter: @richelord.


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