By Nigel Parry
9:35am: Court resumes.
Video testimony of Dr. Jay Leathers, Jordan’s psychiatristVideo time stamp says the interview took place on June 6th, 2012. Dr. Leathers works at the Allegheny General Hospital for the last three years and also works at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital treating patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a psychological term for a basket of symptoms that no one in court seems able to say properly. We’ve heard “Post-Traumatic Syndrome”, “Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome”—however you can write it, it has been mangled that way at least once by someone in court.
PTSD happens after people suffer a threat—a threat to life or a threat of serious injury. Dr. Leathers said that Jordan “exceeded the minimum criteria” for a PTSD diagnosis. Jordan’s PTSD symptoms, diagnosed during Jordan’s initial assessment in a first, extended 90-minute session with Dr. Leathers 14 months after the assault, include:
Episodes of re-experiencing and flashbacks; disturbing thoughts and dreams; pulling back from friends and family and his normal environment; avoidance of conversations so he wasn’t asked questions about the event; decrease in previous interests including playing the viola and sports; a sense of detachment in normal situations; irritable around family and friends; depression; sleeplessness, arousal (awakeness preventing sleep); anticipatory anxiety, on seeing police cars, hearing police sirens, or walking around alone on the streets at night; hyper-vigilance; intrusive thoughts; panic attacks; poor appetite; having to read and re-read paragraphs multiple times before comprehending their meaning; low self esteem; loss of confidence; feelings of being punished; and a significant amount of hopelessness.
Other things of note include Jordan reporting to the psychiatrist that he purposely chose a college where he wouldn’t know anyone so he wouldn’t need to talk about it with anyone. Jordan told Dr. Leathers that he wanted to get back to where he was before the event. The psychiatrist also noted that Post-Concussion Syndrome, which the court has already heard has a lot of cross-over symptoms with PTSD, can show up a year or two later.
“In the worst case scenario,” said the doctor, “it can last a lifetime.” He described Jordan as having a “poor prognosis”.
Don Carpenter reported that during the cross-examination, the police attorney asked Dr. Leathers if Jordan ever talked about being a plaintiff in this case? “Miles didn’t want to be a poster child for these kinds of things,” replied Leathers.
Earlier, Leathers reported that Jordan had told him he didn’t feel he’d be able to function normally until after the civil trial was over.
Other witness news
Apparently, police commander RaShall Brackney will not be testifying to the three officers’ past bad behavior. She can only testify if it is claimed that they had a stellar performance record. If that happens, she can testify. Court reporters are assuming that this is the result of motions and a judge’s ruling, will try to find out later. Brackney’s testimony on previous occasions has stated the three officers were less than honest and had discipline problems.
Jordan’s lawyers must wrap up today. Jordan’s friend Zephon Williams will be testifying at some point.
2:40pm: Video testimony of James L. Kenkel, Professor of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh
Back on May 1st, Kenkel was quoted in the Pittburgh Tribune-Review as estimating Miles’ injuries would cost him a lifetime work loss of $2-3 million:
The injuries a Homewood man suffered during a 2010 arrest will cost him $2 million to $3 million in earnings over his lifetime, a University of Pittsburgh economics professor says in a court document filed Tuesday.
The analysis by James Kenkel, associate professor of economics, is based on his understanding that Jordan Miles, 20, has “headaches, nightmares, problems with short-term memory and pain in his knees and ankles. He has back pain and cannot do heavy lifting. He cannot sit or stand for long periods. He has cognitive difficulty and suffers from depression.”
However, the City Paper’s Charlie Deitch tweeted this later in the day, as we took a needed break from court:
Expert testifying that #jordanmiles loss income due to incident as much as $1.1 million lifetime
— Charlie Deitch (@CharlieDee71) July 25, 2012
Today’s testimony seemed to reflect a disparity of $1-2 million from the original report. Thankfully Charlie Deitch set us straight:
@justice4jordan that figure was what he could make with college degree. 1.1 mill is that number minus what he could make with a h.s. diploma
— Charlie Deitch (@CharlieDee71) July 25, 2012