Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette—Jordan Miles has won three legal skirmishes in the run-up to a July civil trial on whether three city of Pittsburgh police officers violated his rights in a 2010 arrest.
Attorneys for three officers who are defendants in the case had sought to have a psychiatrist of their choosing evaluate Mr. Miles, now 20, of Homewood. They wanted to challenge his claim of psychiatric injury.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gary L. Lancaster wrote in an order late Friday that the officers’ request for that evaluation, made March 22, came more than five months after the deadline for fact discovery set in the 20-month-old case.
Also denied was the officers’ motion for access to federal grand jury testimony of two of Mr. Miles’ friends. The officers had sought to develop evidence that Mr. Miles lied when he said that he was not carrying a Mountain Dew bottle at the time of arrest, and when he described his exact location at the time of the confrontation with the city’s anti-gun squad.
Consistent with his other rulings in the case, Judge Lancaster found that the arguments for obtaining the testimony were not strong enough to overcome the secrecy of grand jury proceedings. He noted that the two friends are not listed as witnesses for the trial, set to start July 16.
Finally, Judge Lancaster ruled in favor of Mr. Miles in his attorneys’ request to depose three investigators hired by the police to aid in preparation of their defense. That report was only recently produced and filed under seal, the judge’s order said.
Mr. Miles’ arrest for loitering, prowling, assault, resisting arrest and escape, and what he said was a beating that left him injured and badly swollen, became a touchstone for concern about police treatment of African-Americans in Pittsburgh.
Charges against Mr. Miles were dropped, and the officers were not charged.
The city settled with Mr. Miles for $75,000, but is still on the hook if a jury hands down a verdict against the officers.