Pittsburgh police have reassigned three plainclothes officers to uniformed duty pending an investigation into the beating of an 18-year-old student.
A police report indicates that officers became interested in Jordan Miles when they suspected he had a gun in his coat. After beating Miles in the head with a closed fist, the officers discovered the object was a Mountain Dew bottle.
Miles, a violinist and honor student who attends the prestigious Creative and Performing Arts High School, says he resisted arrest because he thought the men were trying to abduct him and didn’t identify themselves as police.
The student is black, and the three officers are white. Police and the family’s attorney aren’t commenting on whether race was a factor, according to the Associated Press.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports, “Miles suffered a swollen face, hair ripped from his scalp and a twig jabbed through his gum during the incident.”
Elizabeth Pittinger of the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board told KDKA, “So we have a very real dispute, a very real controversy involving suspicion of misconduct on the part of the police officers so the test of that is to search for the truth.”
WXPI has more details.
Miles says he was not carrying a bottle of soda while walking to his grandmother’s house. He has no criminal record.
This video is from WXPI, broadcast Jan. 22, 2010.
This video is from KDKA, broadcast Jan. 22, 2010.