Mom Didn't Recognize Son Beaten By Pittsburgh Cops
Police officers claim victim was ‘acting suspiciously’ and say they threw away key evidence
Joe Mandak The Associated Press
July 20, 2012PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The mother of a young black man who claims three Pittsburgh police officers wrongfully beat and arrested him says the injuries inflicted made her son unrecognizable when she picked him up at the county jail the next night.
Terez Miles testified Wednesday in her son Jordan's federal civil rights trial against the officers that she became ``hysterical'' when the unrecognizable figure of her son walked toward her and said, ``Mom, I need to go to the hospital.''
Miles was 18 when he was arrested and beaten in January 2010.
Police contend Miles was acting suspiciously and appeared to be armed; but his attorneys contend that's a cover story cooked up by three white officers who stopped Miles simply because he was a young black man in a high-crime area.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
The grandmother of a black man who claims he was wrongfully arrested and beaten by three white Pittsburgh police officers testified Wednesday that he's had recurring nightmares and found it hard to stay in school since the attack.
But defense attorneys attempted to use Patricia Porter's testimony to undermine claims that her now 20-year-old grandson's academic progress was hampered by the Jan. 12, 2010, incident, when he was an 18-year-old senior at the city's performing arts high school.
Porter testified in U.S. District Court that Jordan Miles was so unnerved by the incident that he withdrew from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford when police were called to a disturbance in his dormitory months later.
The disturbance didn't involve Miles, but seeing the police respond nearby ``upset him so badly, he wasn't even able to stay on the campus,'' Porter testified. She also said he has difficulty concentrating and studying since the incident.
The three officers accused of violating Miles' civil rights -- Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak -- have claimed they thought he was an armed prowler and that they only used force to subdue him because he fought with them and ran away.
The officers have also claimed they thought a soda bottle in his pocket was a gun -- though Miles' attorneys contend there was no soda bottle when he was arrested while walking to his grandmother's house at about 11 p.m., and that the story is a thinly veiled pretext to justify the officers' overreaction and brutality.
The officers have never produced the bottle, claiming they threw it away. Miles' attorneys argued the bottle's absence bolsters their claim that their client was rousted simply because he was a young black man in a high-crime area.
Although his grandmother's testimony isn't relevant to the civil rights claims that Miles was wrongly arrested, prosecuted and beaten, his attorneys want a jury to award damages because they claim his academic career and future was derailed by his resulting memory problems and post-traumatic stress disorder.
To that end, his grandmother's testimony cut both ways. In addition to detailing his academic problems after the incident, the former public school teacher also said Miles' demeanor ``was like someone coming home from war, traumatized.''