PITTSBURGH (AP) — Three White officers accused in a federal civil rights lawsuit of beating a Black art student falsely arrested him but didn’t use excessive force, a jury found Monday, awarding him $119,000 in damages.
The all-White jury of four men and four women reached a split verdict in 22-year-old Jordan Miles’ lawsuit against officers David Sisak, Michael Saldutte (sal-DOO’-tee) and Richard Ewing. They found the officers liable for falsely arresting Miles but found them not liable for using excessive force to beat him.
The jurors awarded Miles $101,000 in compensatory damages and $6,000 from each officer for punitive damages for acting “maliciously and wantonly.”
Miles had claimed the officers confronted him in January 2010 while he was walking to his grandmother’s house to spend the night. He says they assumed he was a drug dealer because of his race and dreadlocks and beat him. At the time, he was an 18-year-old senior at Pittsburgh’s performing arts high school and had no history of police trouble.
The officers say they got rough with Miles because he fought with them while they mistakenly thought he had a gun.
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