Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jordan Miles Officers Reinstated

After spending more than a year on paid leave, the three Pittsburgh police officers involved in the beating of Jordan Miles have begun the process of being reinstated to the force.

Officers Michael Saldutte, David Sisak, and Richard Ewing beat the CAPA high school student in January of last year when they believed he was resisting arrest. Miles says he did not know the men were police and was running out of fear. The decision to reinstate the officers came a day after the US Attorney’s office decided to not pursue charges against the officers. Police Chief Nate Harper said they relied on that investigation and the investigation of the city’s Office of Municipal Investigations.

The officers will have to undergo a physical and receive updated training before returning to the force. Harper said it is still unclear if the officers will be put back in uniform or if they will return as plain clothes officers. They will not return to zone 5.

Harper says he hopes the incident will serve as a teaching experience. “We hope that young people realize that when a police officer approaches them, if they’ve done nothing wrong, to see what the police officer wants instead of running away from the police officer,” said Harper, “also for the officers to realize that because a person runs, it may be in fear.”

The decision to reinstate the officers came before the Allegheny County District Attorney makes a decision about pursuing or not pursuing charges. “We spoke to them this morning, there are a few documents that the law department will give over to the DA’s office, but I am very comfortable bringing the officers back,” said Harper.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl hopes the community will find a way to heal. “I don’t believe there is anybody in Pittsburgh… who doesn’t wish that the events of January 12th 2010 did not occur,” said Ravenstahl.

The city has applied for a federal grant to launch programs to build more trust between the police and the community.

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