CAPA student claims Pittsburgh cops beat him
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A senior at the city's Creative and Performing Arts high school is claiming that undercover police brutally beat him last week in Homewood.
Jordan Miles, 18, had a hearing scheduled this morning on charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest for an altercation Jan. 11 with three plain clothes Pittsburgh Police officers, but it was suspended when the officers did not appear. Mr. Miles was going to defend himself from the charges by describing the beating he took from police, which included a tree branch impaling his gums and a chunk of hair pulled from his head, his attorney said today, in addition to repeated blows to his head.
Police took him to West Penn Hospital for treatment. He also went back to the hospital after he was released from custody.
"Based on what I've seen, I can't see any justification for the extreme force used," his attorney, Kerry Lewis, said in an interview.
The city's Office of Municipal Investigations is looking into the incident and will do a full investigation, police spokeswoman Diane Richard said.
According to the police criminal complaint, three officers on undercover patrol on Tioga STreet saw Mr. Miles at 11 p.m. Jan. 11. Seeing a heavy object in his coat and indentifying themselves as police, they ordered him to stop.
Mr. Miles ran and the three officers, suspecting he might have a gun and be under the influence of drugs, shot him with a Taser and struck him with their knees and fists. The complaint said the heavy object in his coat turned out to be a bottle of Mountain Dew.
Mr. Lewis, the attorney, denied that police identified themselves and said Mr. Miles was walking between his mother's house and his grandmother's house at the time of the incident.
First Published January 21, 2010 2:23 pm