City of Pittsburgh officials had said they would wait until the federal investigation was over in the case of the beating of an 18 year old African American high school student on January 12, 2010.
Police Chief Nate Harper will hold a news conference this afternoon about the 3 plain clothes officers who allegedly wrongly beat Jordan Miles, an honors student at Pittsburgh's Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) High School.
The three officers confronted Jordan Miles as he was walking from his mother's house in Homewood to his grandmother's home. Miles says he did not the 3 men were police officers. The officers said they thought Miles had a heavy object in his pocket and he failed to obey an order to stop. Jordan Miles wound up in the hospital, badly beaten about the face and with chunks of hair pulled from his head.
The Department of Justice announced yesterday that it would not pursue criminal charges against Officers Michael Saldutte, David Sisak and Richard Ewing. The statement said that after an exhaustive review by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI including interviews with more than 40 people "there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that Jordan Miles' civil rights were violated.
The attorney for the Miles' family, J. Kerrington Lewis says the Justice Department made the wrong decision and this sends a message...
"That there's no opportunity even for the citizens through a jury trial to determine whether that beating was so excessive it became criminal."
Dan O'Hara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said the 3 officers "have been vindicated" by the Justice Department's decision not to prosecute.
Terez Miles, Jordan Miles' mother, says they were hoping for the best but in this case the justice system did not work....
"Jordan and I are both outraged about this. The whole community is outraged. Our family is outraged. There needed to be charges filed on these officers. That would have been the greatest deterrent to this sort of thing happening to other people in the future."
The Miles family filed a civil suit several months ago against the city of Pittsburgh and the 3 officers. That case is expected to go to court late this year.
The 3 officers have been on paid leave for more than a year.