Wednesday, May 4, 2011

No Federal Charges Against Police In Miles' Case

The U.S. Department of Justice has decided not to file charges against Pittsburgh Police Officers Michael Saldutte, David Sisak and Richard Ewing in the January 2010 beating of 18 year old Jordan Miles of Homewood, an honors student at Pittsburgh's Creative and Performing Arts High School.

The statement from the Justice Department said the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI conducted an "exhaustive review of the incident" including interviews of more than 40 witnesses.

"After a lengthy, independent, and thorough review consuming hundreds of hours of agent and prosecutor time, federal officials determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove a federal civil rights violation, beyond a reasonable doubt, against any of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officers."

Miles says he was walking from his mother's house to his grandmother's house when the three officers confronted him. They claim they tried to stop him because he had a heavy object in his pocket and refused to stop. Miles said he was afraid because he didn't know the plain-clothes officers were police.

Pete Shell of the Alliance for Police Accountability says he's "deeply disappointed and surprised by the decision not to prosecute..."there's ample evidence to prosecute...they put him in the hospital...they tore out chunks of his hair."

Shell says the group presented hundreds of petitions to the Allegheny County District Attorney calling for a local prosecution and he said he would wait till after the federal investigation...."Now that that decision has been announced, we expect D.A. Zappala to move forward with the prosecution in this case. That's the last chance for justice."

Saldutte, Sisak and Ewing remain suspended at this time.

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