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Pittsburgh Reinstates 3 Officers in Beating Case

Pittsburgh Reinstates 3 Officers in Beating Case

Pittsburgh Tribune

May 06, 2011

May 6—Three Pittsburgh police officers accused of beating a Homewood teen spent more than a year in limbo, but it only took about 24 hours after hearing they won’t face federal prosecution to learn they could return to their jobs.

“This train has moved fast,” said Robert DelGreco, attorney for Officer Richard Ewing. “Within a two-day period, he’s both been exonerated and reinstated, so I’m sure he’ll need some time to think about matters.”

Chief Nate Harper would not say on Thursday when Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak will return to work or where they will be stationed except that it would not be Zone 5 in Highland Park, where they were assigned when they arrested Jordan Miles in Homewood on Jan. 12, 2010.

The reinstatement came a day after U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton announced that federal officials lack evidence to charge them after an investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI.

The three have been on paid leave since Feb. 1, 2010, several weeks after Miles, then an 18-year-old honors student at the Creative and Performing Arts high school, accused them of beating him. The officers, who are white, said Miles, who is black, was injured when he fought with them during his arrest.

“There is no question Mr. Jordan Miles sustained injuries,” Harper said at a news conference. “But there is no evidence the injuries were a result of any wrongful conduct on the part of the officers.”

The officers spotted Miles between two houses on Tioga Street, less than 100 yards from his home. They said Miles ran and fought them, and they believed he had a gun. Miles, who did not have a weapon, said he believed the officers, who were in plain clothes, were trying to rob him.

The city’s Office of Municipal Investigations also completed its review and determined there was insufficient evidence to charge the officers, Harper said.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. has said he would wait until federal authorities were finished before deciding what he would do. His spokesman, Mike Manko, said he would have no comment until the office contacts the U.S. attorney’s office next week and receives reports from OMI.

The Alliance for Police Accountability, a community group based in Homewood that formed after Miles’ arrest, planned to hold a protest today at the City-County Building, Downtown, asking Zappala to bring charges.

“They’re telling the community that police will never be held accountable for anything,” said Brandi Fisher, the group’s chairwoman. “If Jordan Miles cannot receive justice, then no one can.”

Ewing, Saldutte and Sisak were greeted with hugs and handshakes from fellow officers when they arrived at headquarters for a meeting with police officials about two hours before the announcement that they could return. The three declined to comment.

“Everyone was happy to see them return,” said Dan O’Hara, president of Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 of the Fraternal Order of Police. “There’s going to be an adjustment period for them to go back.”

Saldutte’s attorney, Bill Difenderfer, said his client is eager to return to work. “He’s obviously very happy with the decision,” Difenderfer said.

In Ewing’s case, it’s unclear if he wants to return, DelGreco said.

“This has had quite an effect on him, and he’s seriously considering not having law enforcement as an occupation,” DelGreco said.

The federal investigation took more than a year and involved interviews with more than 40 witnesses and reviews of medical and cell phone records, photos and other evidence, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

“That entire process unfortunately takes time,” said Mark Rush, a former assistant U.S. Attorney and now a partner with the K&L Gates law firm, Downtown. “But if you’re going to get it right, you have to make sure you take the time to get it right. You don’t want to rush to judgment.”

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Copyright © 2011, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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  • Littlegirltongue_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Great to see them back!!!!

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    over 3 years ago


    The right decision was made.

  • Add_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Bump LAWMANTUKES and Whalwatcher.

  • Me_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I cant decide whether I would want a year off paid and have this hanging over my head or not...

  • Florida_medolphinpetting_max50


    over 3 years ago


    As long as they properly ID'd themselves, this shouldn't have been an issue (since it didn't go into too much detail about it).

  • 1979_max50


    over 3 years ago


    dr_ross It appears that these Officers who were in plain clothes did properly ID themselves and call for this individual to "Stop, Police" . He should not have run hid in more dark alleyways after they first called out to him, rather he should have shown his hands and followed their legal demands. Now if you had come upon that and pulled out a weapon and fired at these Officers, you would, and should have been immediately shot and killed by these Officers and I would be first in line to applaud their actions. With that attitude, YOU should not be armed.

  • Ericm60_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Congrats to the officers! They will need to invest in a body camera system now because they will forever be under a microscope on anything they Do in the future because this will be brought up by every defense attorney and person they arrest! Good luck Guys!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Bump Whalwatcher.

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    over 3 years ago


    The time that was needed to do a proper investigation was taken by investigators, and no one can claim a rush to judgement. Most imortantly, the officers are going back to work !!! Mr. Miles shouldn't have run away in the first place; his choice of actions caused everything that happened afterwards.

  • 063_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Thank You feds for doing the right thing and not giving in to these liberal loud mouths. Now guys, get back out there doing what you do best...keeping us safe from evil.

  • Plmb2s3sk_max600_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Glad they were cleared.

  • Thinker_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Glad they are cleared, unhappy it took so long. Over a year on paid leave for the FBI to investigate. Also glad the FOP and the lawyers stood by the officers...

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Glad they were cleared, sorry they had to wait a year that had to be very stressful....

  • Img_0103_max50


    over 3 years ago


    And its' so ironic that Mark Rush stated that: "But if you're going to get it right, you have to make sure you take the time to get it right. You don't want to rush to judgement"... But yet and still that is exactly what Ms Fisher and her followers are, and have been doing.. This is just another battle that has been fought and won by us who wear the badge and deal with it's consequences, for simply doing our jobs..

  • Img_0103_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I think that Brandi Fisher, and all of her Al Sharpton "Hate The Police" sound alikes, should shut the hell up..!!! And crawl back under their liberal rocks where they came from..!!!

    I am glad that these Officers were not only found not guilty of a crime, but have been both exonerated and reinstated. Good for them ..!! Hang in there guys...

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