Teenager Jordan Miles, a violinist and senior Honor student at Pittsburgh's Creative and Performing Arts high school (CAPA), said he was walking that evening from his mother's house to his grandmother's house.
He never made it.
Instead, he ended up at the hospital looking like this:
Jordan Miles account is that he was attacked by three men screaming "Where's the money? Where's the gun? Where's the drugs?" who he only later found out were undercover police officers.
What do the police say? From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (P-G):
According to the police criminal complaint, three officers on undercover patrol on Tioga STreet saw Mr. Miles at 11 p.m. Jan. 11. Seeing a heavy object in his coat and indentifying themselves as police, they ordered him to stop.So, there's some law against carry heavy objects? I must have missed that one. Moreover, Miles says he wasn't even holding Dew (and last time I checked, if he had consumed some, it doesn't leave you in a drug-induced-like state). The police complaint also claims that he was standing against a building
Mr. Miles ran and the three officers, suspecting he might have a gun and be under the influence of drugs, shot him with a Taser and struck him with their knees and fists. The complaint said the heavy object in his coat turned out to be a bottle of Mountain Dew.
According to the P-G:
Jordan Miles, 18, had a hearing scheduled this morning on charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest for an altercation Jan. 11 with three plain clothes Pittsburgh Police officers, but it was suspended when the officers did not appear. Mr. Miles was going to defend himself from the charges by describing the beating he took from police, which included a tree branch impaling his gums and a chunk of hair pulled from his head, his attorney said today, in addition to repeated blows to his head. [Emphasis added]Pittsburgh's Office of Municipal Investigations is investigating the incident and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he is "very troubled" by Miles' claims of police brutality.
If you're equally disturbed by this story, B-PEP (Black Political Empowerment Project) Black and White Reunion, and CAV (Coalition Against Violence) suggest the following actions you can take:
There's also a Facebook support page for Jordan here.
Action Plan in support of CAPA Honor student Jordan Miles
1. Attend the 9:00 a.m. news conference on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at the City-County Building, Fifth Floor in front of City Council Chambers.
2. Drop off (in person) letters of protest, with regard to the incident, to the Mayor’s Office.
3. Speak to City Council Members at the 10:00 a.m. January 26, 2010 regularly scheduled City Council hearing.
4. Speak to the City Police Review Board at the 6:00 p.m. hearing in City Council Chambers on January 26, 2010
The story has received national coverage including CNN and The Huffington Post.
It bears repeating what First Lady Michelle Obama said when she visited CAPA last year bringing spouses of the G-20 Summit dignitaries with her:
We're here because I wanted to introduce them to some of America's finest, most creative, most accomplished young people."Apparently the police could not view Jordan in the same light as our First Lady saw him.