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Mistrial Declared in Jordan Miles Police Brutality Case

Jordan Miles and his mother Terez Miles
Darrell Sapp/Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh police officers did not maliciously prosecute Jordan Miles, a civil jury found Wednesday, but it could not decide whether they falsely arrested the high school honor student or used excessive force against him, setting up a retrial on those accusations.

In a story that made national headlines in 2010, while walking to his grandmother's house, Miles was approached and beat up by three plainclothes police officers who claimed they thought he was a drug dealer and was carrying a gun. Pictures of his badly beaten face went viral.

Miles testified in the trial's first week that he was walking from his mother's house to his grandmother's when an unmarked car pulled up, and plainclothes officers jumped out and beat and arrested him for no reason.

He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault for elbowing and kicking the officers, as well as with escape, resisting arrest, and loitering. Those charges were dismissed by a district judge, clearing the way for the malicious prosecution count that ultimately failed.

It could go differently next time, said Timothy O'Brien, the second attorney for Mr. Miles.

"There was significant evidence the jury didn't hear in this case," said Mr. O'Brien, including "allegations of similar past abuse" by some of the officers. He said that the plaintiff's team wasn't able, for instance, to introduce allegations that the officers had failed to identify themselves as police in other arrests.

 

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