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Jordan Miles gets second chance to convince jury that officers used excessive force


PITTSBURGH - A Homewood man will get a second chance to convince a federal jury that three Pittsburgh police officers falsely arrested him and used excessive force during a Jan. 12, 2010, encounter, but he won‘t get a second trial on his malicious prosecution claim, lawyers for both sides said Thursday after a closed-door conference with the presiding judge.

U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster scheduled the second trial in the Jordan Miles lawsuit for July 8, said Pittsburgh solicitor Dan Regan. Other than routine pretrial procedures, nothing is likely to happen in the case until then, Regan said.

Miles, 20, claims that Officers Michael Saldutte, David Sisak and Richard Ewing didn‘t have probable cause to arrest him during a confrontation on Tioga Street in Homewood. He also claims the officers used excessive force when they subdued and handcuffed him after he ran from them.

Miles sued the city in addition to the three officers, but the city settled his claims for $75,000. The city would still pay any damages a jury awards Miles if the jury rules against the officers.

Miles‘ face was swollen and bruised after the arrest, several braids of his hair had been torn out and a stick was driven between his gums.

“Obviously, the most important claim throughout has been the excessive force claim,” said Tim O‘Brien, one of Miles‘ lawyers.

Miles contends he suffered the injuries from being beaten as he lay on the ground. The officers contend his injuries were the result of his violent struggle to escape that ended with him crashing through a hedge. Miles injured Sisak during the arrest by kicking him in the knee, the officers said.

A federal jury in August found in favor of the officers on Miles‘ claim that they maliciously prosecuted him by charging him with loitering, prowling, resisting arrest, aggravated assault and escape. The jury deadlocked on the other two claims, and Lancaster declared a mistrial on those two counts.

A district judge subsequently dismissed the charges against Miles.

Miles‘ attorneys filed a motion asking for a new trial on the malicious prosecution claim, but Lancaster denied that motion Thursday.

This article was written by Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE.