Jordan Miles, the young Black man who was falsely arrested and allegedly beaten by Pittsburgh police officers in 2010, was awarded $119,000 in damages after an all-white jury reached a split verdict.
The 22-year-old art student says he is satisfied with the outcome of the case, but many others don’t share those sentiments.
The jury of four white women and four white men found that officers had falsely arrested Miles, but they did not agree that the officers used excessive force during the arrest.
Miles will receive $101,000 in compensatory damage and an additional $6,000 each from police Officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak.
University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris explained that this type of verdict does not solve any issues about racial profiling, nor does it “supply a kind of clean resolution going either way, and so both sides will proceed from here as if they did not get what they were entitled to.”
“I don’t think [the verdict] is likely to satisfy anyone,” Harris added.
Miles, on the other hand, still sees the verdict as “a victory” because the jurors found the officers guilty “at least in one aspect.”
According to Miles, that’s all he really needed out of the case.
He explain that now he is ready to move forward and put this incident behind him.
“We may not agree with everything, but it’s good to know, so I can try to put this behind myself and try to go back to school,” said Miles, who is currently working as a shift manager at a CVS Pharmacy.
Just because he feels this is a victory, however, does not mean he feels full justice was served. Miles said he is ready to turn the case over to a higher power.
The officers involved in the case left the courtroom without any words to the media, but one of the officer’s attorneys believed they had no reason to feel ashamed.
“These are three fine police officers, and you have got to wonder what message this sends to the police department,” said attorney Robert Leight who represented Ewing. “Knowing these three officers – and we’ve talked about it – they’d do it all over again. They did nothing wrong. They have nothing to be ashamed of.”
The verdict comes after another jury rejected Miles’ civil rights violation claims about two years ago.
In January 2010, police approached Miles when he was walking to his grandmother’s house.
According to officers, Miles became alarmed and ran away even after they identified themselves and showed police badges.
They claim he put up a fight and refused to cooperate with them. Officers also admitted to mistaking a drink in Miles’ coat pocket as a gun.
Miles, on the other hand, says a plainclothes officer pulled up to him in an unmarked car and asked him for money and drugs.According to his lawyer, this is a practice commonly used by police to put suspected drug dealers on the defensive.
At the time, Miles was 18 years old and a senior at Pittsburgh’s performing arts high school with no police record. All criminal charges against the officers were dismissed.