Although the Justice Department opted not to file criminal charges against three police officers in the Jordan Miles case, the attorneys for the Miles family and the city of Pittsburgh will get to look at the information gathered by the FBI. U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster has issued an order allowing attorneys on both sides of the civil rights lawsuit to see and copy materials from the FBI probe. J. Kerrington Lewis, Miles' attorney, says this will likely include interviews with witnesses, police and medical providers. "Information involving the physical aspects of the scene, just information that any criminal or potential criminal investigation would gather," said Lewis. "So, we'd like to review it and any photographic evidence that they might have."
In January 2010, Miles was an 18 year old high school senior walking from his mother's home in the Homewood section of the city to his grandmother's house when three plain-clothes police officers, Michael Saldutte, David Sisak and Richard Ewing, confronted him. Miles says he did not know the three men were police. 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.
In May, the Justice Department decided there was not enough evidence to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the officers violated Jordan Miles' civil rights. Months before that decision, the Miles family filed a civil suit against the city and the officers.
Lewis says he's pleased by Judge Lancaster's decision to allow both sides to see the FBI information, and there is a lot to be reviewed before the discovery phase of this case ends on September 30. According to Lewis, the next phases are pre-trial motions and expert reports before testimony begins "probably in January … But it's up to Judge Lancaster, he has a pretty heavy schedule. We'd like to get it tried as soon as we can in the interest of justice."
The three officers were on paid leave for more than a year before being reinstated in May.