Friday, June 11, 2010
Saturday marks five months since three Pittsburgh Police officers beat 19-year-old Jordan Miles during an arrest. The Alliance for Police Accountability has organized a march and rally starting at noon. The march will begin at Freedom Corner in the Hill District and head down to the steps of the City County building where organizer Brandi Fisher says they will call on elected officials and the FBI to allow Jordan Miles to, “get on with his life.” Plain-clothes police officers believed Miles was hiding a weapon January 12th as he walked down the street. Miles did not recognize them as officers when they approached and he fled fearing they meant him harm. The suspected weapon turned out to be a pop bottle. Miles was hospitalized after the exchange. Charges against him were eventually dropped and the city is still investigating the incident. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has said the city will not conclude that investigation until an FBI investigation is complete. Fisher says five months should be enough time to finish an investigation and she wants “the officers to be held accountable.” She says the three men should be prosecuted for their actions. Fisher believes that will send a clear message to the police and the community that police brutality will not be tolerated. Fisher says, “racial profiling and police brutality” must end. Many in the community believe that if the officers are held accountable it will help the process of building better trust and cooperation between police and the community. The marchers hope to also get a message to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala. The DA’s office has two years to refile charges against Miles. Fisher says they will be asking for assurance that he will not be charged in the future.