The Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP is calling for the firing of city police officers who allegedly beat Black teenager Jordan Miles during an arrest. The Pittsburgh branch is also calling for charges against Miles to be dropped.
“He had robbed no one—no bank, no establishment, hijacked no car or caused anyone any harm. He was simply walking while Black,” Pittsburgh NAACP President M. Gayle Moss said.
According to Black news Web site NewsOne.com, Miles’ mother is considering filing a lawsuit in connection with the beating, which occurred January 12.
“I feel that my son was racially profiled,” Terez Miles told NewsOne. “It’s a rough neighborhood; it was after dark. They assumed he was up to no good because he’s Black. My son, he knows nothing about the streets at all. He’s had a very sheltered life, he’s very quiet, he doesn’t know police officers sit in cars and stalk people like that.”
The 18-year-old was walking to his grandmother’s house around 11 p.m. As he walked up the block, he observed three men sitting in a white car.
However, police criminal complaint described Miles as standing against a building “as if he was trying to avoid being seen.”
As he continued up the block, the officers shouted “Where’s the money?” “Where’s the gun,” “Where’s the drugs,” according to Miles.
“It was intimidating; I thought I was going to be robbed,” he told NewsOne.
At that point, Miles attempted to run to his mother’s house, but slipped on a patch of ice on the sidewalk. Before he could stand back up again, Miles said the men were already on his back.
“That’s when they started beating me, punching, kicking me, choking me,” he said.
The beating left his face covered with raw bruises, a swollen lip and his right eye swollen shut, and left bald patches on his head where he said the officers ripped out his dreadlocks.
According to authorities, the officers mistook an object in Miles’ pocket for a firearm, which they said later turned out to be a bottle of Mountain Dew. However, Miles says he didn’t have anything in his pocket and rarely drinks Mountain Dew.
“The story just doesn’t make sense when you read the affidavit,” said Kerrington Lewis, Miles’ attorney.
In the meantime, Miles is waiting to return to school pending his physician’s approval.