07 30 2016
  6:05 am  
read latest

breaking news

The Wake of Vanport
Jordan Miles at 18

In this Jan. 22, 2010 file photo, Jordan Miles, then an 18-year-old high school student, talks about his hopes to go to college to study crime scene investigation at his home in Pittsburgh. Three white officers accused in a federal civil rights lawsuit of beating Miles falsely arrested him but didn't use excessive force, a jury found Monday, March 31, 2014, awarding him $119,000 in damages. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Three white officers accused in a federal civil rights lawsuit of beating a black performing arts high school student falsely arrested him but didn't use excessive force, a jury found Monday, awarding him $119,000 in damages.

The split verdict by the all-white jury of four men and four women had attorneys for 22-year-old Jordan Miles and the officers — David Sisak, Michael Saldutte and Richard Ewing — claiming victory, with neither side completely satisfied.

The jurors awarded Miles $101,016.75 in compensatory damages and $6,000 from each officer for punitive damages for acting "maliciously and wantonly."

Miles' attorney, Joel Sansone, said he was gratified but didn't understand how the jurors decided on the damages or concluded police were wrong to arrest Miles but not to beat him.

"The only thing he wanted to hear was that these officers did the wrong thing," Sansone said of Miles, "and he heard that in the courtroom today."

Robert Leight, the attorney for Ewing — who has since left the city police force to work in the suburbs — said the verdict "makes no sense."

Jurors leaving the courthouse declined to comment, leaving unclear how they viewed the conflicting accounts of what happened the night of Jan. 12, 2010.

Miles contends he was talking on his cellphone while walking to his grandmother's when the plainclothes officers rolled up in an unmarked car asking for money, drugs and a gun without identifying themselves. His lawyers argued that "jump out" tactic — which police denied using — is designed to catch suspected drug dealers off-guard.

The officers maintain they flashed their badges and yelled "Police!" and stopped Miles only because he appeared to be lurking near a neighbor's home. They claim Miles panicked and ran after being asked why he was "sneaking around" — and the confrontation escalated when Miles elbowed Saldutte in the head, then kicked Sisak in the knee, before officers mistook a "bulge" in Miles' coat pocket for a gun.

The officers acknowledge kneeing and punching Miles to subdue him before determining the bulge was a bottle of Mountain Dew. Miles denies even carrying the bottle, which officers said they threw away because it wasn't evidence of the prowling, assault and resisting arrest charges they filed against Miles.

A city magistrate didn't find the police version credible and dismissed those charges weeks later. Sisak's attorney, James Wymard, believes that's why jury found the officers wrongly arrested Miles.

"Clearly this is a compromise verdict," Wymard said. "All along the excessive force is what we were worried about," and laughing, "Hah!" when told Miles said he didn't care about money he failed to win on that claim."

Miles' attorney wants the FBI and Justice Department to reconsider a decision not to prosecute the officers criminally. U.S. Attorney David Hickton didn't immediately comment.

But Leight said the verdict proves the Justice Department was right not to prosecute the officers — especially because the burden of proof in a criminal case is even higher than in Miles' lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Wymard and Saldutte's attorney, Brian Campbell, said the monetary damages aren't a clear victory for Miles.

Miles' attorneys previously demanded $2 million to settle the case and rejected the city's offer of $180,000. The city, instead, paid $75,000 to settle Miles' claims against the government itself, with the understanding that money would be deducted from any damages award against the officers.

Because more than $41,000 of the verdict was covered by city insurance, the city's $75,000 could be deducted from the remaining $78,000 — leaving Miles with a net award of $3,000, Wymard and Campbell said. And Miles could still wind up paying some of the officers' attorneys' fees because he didn't win the case outright.

Sansone said he was still researching those claims and couldn't immediately comment, but Wymard said, "Eventually, Miles may well be writing the City of Pittsburgh a check in this case."

Associated Press

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • Russian hackers likely responsible for hacking attack on Clinton HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Giddy if exhausted, Hillary Clinton embarked on a post-convention Rust Belt bus tour just hours after becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. The celebratory mood quickly evaporated amid fresh revelations that hackers had breached a program used by her campaign and Republican nominee Donald Trump promised to sharpen his barbs. "Remember this," Trump said during a rally Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice Guy." And for the first time he encouraged his supporters' anti-Clinton chants of "lock her up." "I've been saying let's just beat her on Nov. 8," Trump said, "but you know what? I'm starting to agree with you." About an hour later, Clinton aides acknowledged that a hacking attack that exposed Democratic Party emails also reached into a computer system used by her own campaign. The FBI said it was working to determine the "accuracy, nature and scope" of the cyberattacks. Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said the newly disclosed breach affected a Democratic National Committee data analytics program used by the campaign and other organizations. Outside experts found no evidence that the campaign's "internal systems have been compromised," Merrill said, but he gave no details on the program or nature of the attacks. Partnerships with modern e-commerce companies can allow sophisticated tracking, categorization and identification of website visitors and voters. President Barack Obama and cybersecurity experts have said Russia was almost certainly responsible for the DNC hack. The House Democratic campaign committee reported Friday that its information had been accessed. The developments followed the leaking of DNC emails earlier in the week that pointed to a pro-Clinton bias by party officials during her primary contest against Bernie Sanders. In the furor that followed, party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz resigned just as Democrats launched their convention. Clinton and her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, will attempt to return attention to their positive economic message on Saturday, with campaign stops through economically struggling areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio. "When we take that oath of office next January, we know we can make life better. We know we can create more good jobs," she told voters gathered at an outside market in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Clinton cited an economic analysis by economist Mark Zandi, a former economic adviser to 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, that found more than 10 million jobs could be created in her first term if her economic proposals were put in place. Zandi's analysis of Trump's plans found they would cost the country 3.5 million jobs and lead to a "lengthy recession." Joined on the bus tour by her husband, Bill Clinton, Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, Clinton stopped at a toy and plastics manufacturer in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, where she and Kaine cast Trump as a con artist out for his own gain. "We don't resent success in America but we do resent people who take advantage of others in order to line their own pockets," Clinton said. Trump is also focusing on Ohio and Pennsylvania, two states where he might make headway with blue-collar white men. That group of voters has eluded Clinton and may be a hard sell after a Democratic convention that heavily celebrated racial and gender diversity. Clinton is playing up economic opportunity, diversity and national security. Democrats hammered home those themes this week with an array of politicians, celebrities, gun-violence victims, law enforcement officers and activists of all races and sexual orientation. Their goal is to turn out the coalition of minority, female and young voters that twice elected Obama while offsetting expected losses among the white men drawn to Trump's message. Democrats continued contrasting their optimistic message with the more troubled vision of the state of the nation presented by Trump and others at the GOP convention a week earlier. Kaine called the "very dark and negative" event a "journey through Donald Trump's mind." "That's a very frightening place," he told thousands of supporters in Philadelphia. Clinton told voters that they faced a "stark choice," calling the coming election the most important one in her lifetime. "This is a moment of reckoning for our country. I don't recognize the country that Donald Trump describes," she said.___Lemire reported from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.
    Read More
  • Six current or former state employees were charged Friday with misconduct and other crimes in the Flint water crisis 
    Read More
  • Hillary Clinton cast herself as a unifier for divided times, an experienced leader steeled for a volatile world 
    Read More
  • The Portland Harbor Community Coalition wants a more intensive cleanup and more time for public comment  
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Carpentry Professionals


Oregon Shakespeare Festival The Wiz

Hood to Coast 2016