October 31, 2014

What punishment did the 3 officers receive?

The false charges filed against Jordan Miles. Click for enlargement.


January 12th, 2010: The officers’ lies started that very night

The three officers attempted to justify the obvious level of violence visible from Miles’ wounds by saying they mistook a bottle of Mountain Dew in Miles’ pocket for a gun. However, not only was no gun recovered, not even the soda bottle was ever entered into evidence. Miles and his friends have stated that he never even drinks the soda.

January 13th, 2010: The officers filed false charges against Jordan Miles

The officers filed criminal charges against Jordan Miles. As well as the Mountain Dew fabrication, attempted to claim that a neighbor, Monica Wooding, had been concerned that Miles was lurking around. Monica Wooding’s testimony was one of the reasons the charges against Miles were dropped. Wooding said that she knows Miles, who is friends with her son, and that she never told police she doesn’t know him. A judge would later dismiss all the charges against Miles.

March 13th, 2010: Just two months after the brutal assault on Jordan Miles, the Police Union marched in Pittsburgh’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade with T-shirts that stated that “We Support Our Three Brothers”


The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that:

In a memo dated Friday, the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 encouraged members to turn out in “unprecedented” numbers during the parade and to purchase T-shirts for $12 stating “We Support Our Three Brothers.” [...] “We fully support these three officers and brothers and we want the entire city of Pittsburgh to know that,” said FOP President Dan O’Hara.

March 19th, 2010: Just two months after beating Miles, the three suspended officers were awarded commendations

WPXI reported on March 19th, 2010 that:

The three Pittsburgh police officers accused of beating CAPA student Jordan Miles were recognized for their work with the department Friday.

The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Awards Ceremony was held in City Council Chambers.

Officer David Sisak was honored with a bureau citation for helping trapped victims during flash flooding in June. He also got two other awards, including a certificate of commendation.

Officers Michael Saldutte and Richard Ewing were among those who got meritorious service awards involving the Uniform Firearms Act.

The three officers shook hands with and were congratulated by police department leaders and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl Friday, but the case involving Miles continues to haunt the police department as a federal grand jury probes the matter.

The First Year: Since the beating, the three officers have been paid more than they earned when they were working

The suspended officers are being paid a ridiculous sum of money. The Pittsburgh City Paper published two investigations into what the three were being paid. The first article from August 11th, 2010, “Pay Daze”, reported:

CP has reviewed the pay records for the three officers from June 2009 to June 2010. From August 2009 to January 2010, the six-month period immediately before they were placed on leave, Ewing averaged $3,165 per paycheck; Saldutte earned $3,505, and Sisak made $3,961. (CP considers these calculations estimates because it is unclear which six months the city used to determine the officers’ previous salary averages.)

In his June 4 check, Saldutte earned $2,414 (before taxes) — $1,091 less than he averaged before.

Overall, Saldutte earned less than his six-month average on eight occasions, and both Ewing and Sisak earned less on six occasions each.

By CP’s calculation, from February to June, the city owes Ewing $4,357, Saldutte $5,478 and Sisak $7,142 to help match what the officers were earning when they were actually out patrolling the streets.

The second article from December 16th, “Christmas Bonus”, reported that:

Thanks to an agreement between the city and the police union, the officers are guaranteed to get the same amount of money, including overtime pay, they were earning before the Miles incident. City records from Jan. 1 through Oct. 8 show that the officers have collectively taken home $216,630.25 ($65,597.87 for Ewing; $72,605.24 for Saldutte; and $78,427.14 for Sisak). According to CP’s calculations, by year’s end the officers will collectively have earned $233,882 while on paid leave.

May 4th, 2011: Justice Department refuses to prosecute the three officers

On May 4th, 2011, the Department of Justice released a statement, saying that:

The U.S. Attorney’s Office , the Civil Rights Division and the FBI, working together, conducted an exhaustive review of the incident, which included interviews of more than 40 witnesses, some on multiple occasions, visits to the scene and careful review of all police reports, medical records, photographs, laboratory reports, cell phone records and other documentation related to the incident. After thorough review of all of the evidence, experienced federal officials concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a violation of the applicable federal criminal civil rights statutes.

Until the present day: The three police officers who beat Jordan to a pulp have not been punished. They have been encouraged, rewarded, and reinstated!

On May 5th, 2011, the Mayor and Police chief announced the reinstatement of the three officers, although they noted they would not be returning to work in Zone 5, where the Miles beating took place. The City and Police Union are arguing that the federal case shows the three cops were vindicated, which is far from the truth. The federal civil rights case required a very high burden of proof, but standard criminal charges could have still been filed against the officers by the Allegheny County District Attorney Steven Zappala.

Meanwhile, there is no sign of any movement to release the Office of Municipal Investigations report into the Jordan Miles incident.


On May 16th, 2012 DA Zappala told a press conference that he would not be prosecuting the three officers

Zappala claimed this was “not a prosecutable case”. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Mr. Zappala said he and his investigators had reviewed four separate expert reports in the case and read the transcripts of the civil case under way by lawyers for Mr. Miles.

“I agree with the federal government,” Mr. Zapalla said in a news conference.

He was referring to the decision of the U.S. Attorney’s office not to bring charges of civil rights violations against any of the officers involved in the case.

Zappala is a good friend to bad policeman and a key reason for Pittsburgh’s climate of police impunity. A 2003 City Paper article noted that in a 5 year period, after investigating 16 police homicides, Zappala only put one cop in jail for one year.


The Federal Civil Trial began on July, 16th 2012

The Federal Civil Trial, Miles vs. Saldutte et al, began on July 16th at the U.S. Courthouse at 700 Grant Street, downtown Pittsburgh. The case concluded with a finding for the three officers on the count of Malicious Prosecution and reported being “hopelessly deadlocked” on the issues of False Arrest and Excessive Use of Force. These two latter charges are therefore considered a mistrial, and can be retried at a later date. According to Jordan’s lawyers during the Civil Trial, J. Kerrington Lewis and Timothy O’Brien, they will seek another trial on those two counts, and appeal the Malicious Prosecution charge. The new trial was originally scheduled for July, then November 2013. On July 30th, 2013, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, “Second Jordan Miles civil trial moved to March [2014].”

The search for Justice for Jordan Miles continues.

DEMAND ALLEGHENY COUNTY D.A. ZAPPALA PROSECUTE THE THREE OFFICERS!

DEMAND THE CITY FIRE THE THREE OFFICERS!

DEMAND THAT THE OFFICE OF MUNICIPAL INVESTIGATIONS RELEASES THE REPORT IT HAS BURIED!

DEMAND JUSTICE FOR JORDAN MILES!