Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NAACP Asks DA to Prosecute in Miles Case

Representatives of several community groups met with Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala today, to ask him if he would prosecute the three Pittsburgh Police Officers involved in the January 12, 2010 beating of 18-year-old Jordan Miles.

NAACP’s national legal counsel Kim Keenan says she asked Zappala repeatedly when he would prosecute the officers.

"Lawyers are very good at saying they 'really can't say,' and the DA was exceptional in that regard," says Keenan. "Despite many questions in many ways, he could not give us a timeline, but he did indicate that he had three people in his office working on it."

Keenan says she will do whatever it takes to keep attention on the case, including holding public hearings and more meetings with Zappala.

Keenan says Zappala told her he would look “fully and fairly” at the evidence of the Miles incident, including grand jury testimony.

The group at the meeting included leaders of the regional, state, and national chapters of the NAACP, and the heads of local groups such as the Black Political Empowerment Project and the Black & White Reunion.

Those groups have been steadily advocating for the prosecution of the three policemen in question since the beating happened, almost 18 months ago. The officers were on paid administrative leave for more than a year after the incident. They were reinstated this May after a federal investigation of the case resulted in no charges.

Zappala had said in the past that he would not take action until the federal investigation had finished.

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