Estimated reading time: 12 minute(s)
[BJB ArchivesÂ July 6, 2011]Â
I will never forget the first time I saw these two images of Jordan Miles of Pittsburgh. It was heartbreaking and angered me. Who would do something like this to him? Answer: The Police.
On January 12, 2010, at approximately 11:00pm, Jordan was headed to his grandmotherâ€™s home around the corner from his motherâ€™s home when he was suddenly ambushed by three White plain-clothed Pittsburgh police officers who were posted up on the street in an unmarked car.
I had the opportunity to interview this young man and his mother last year for a story. In the conversation with Jordan, he told me all three men jumped out of the car without identifying themselves and shouted â€œWhereâ€™s the gun, whereâ€™s the money, whereâ€™s the drugs?â€ Thatâ€™s when Jordan began to flee because he thought he was about to be robbed.
He said â€œI took off running and slipped on the icy ground. That was the last time I was on my feet. I never fought back because I thought I was going to be killed. At this point I still didnâ€™t know these were officers but they started beating me while smashing my face into the snow.Â One of the hits came from a metal object and thatâ€™s when blood gushed from my head into the snow.â€
Before you jump to conclusions, Jordan is not a drug dealer or troublemaker. Jordan was a seniorÂ honor roll studentÂ at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12 School at that time. He played the viola as a member of both the CAPA symphony and the jazz band. Heâ€™s a law-abiding citizen whose record has been clean.
â€œWhile on the ground IÂ was saying the Lordâ€™s Prayer silentlyÂ and they would say â€œshut upâ€ and beat me more. I thought I was going to be abducted but when a marked cop car came on the scene thatâ€™s when I found out these were undercover cops,â€ he said. Jordan was taken into the county jail, where he was bleeding unceasingly and left untreated. He spent nearly 24 hours before finally being released to his worrying mother.
When he was finally released from jail, his mother Terez Miles did not even recognize him because of his distorted face caused by the beatings.
â€œThis person started walking towards me and I said to myself this person looks like the elephant man. Then he came closer to me and said â€œMamaâ€.Â I went completely hysterical.Â I started shouting. I couldnâ€™t believe this was my son,â€ she said.
Jordan also had hisÂ dreadlocks ripped from his scalp leaving multiple patches in his head. â€œI could tell she didnâ€™t know who I was but when she recognized my voice tears just swelled up in her eyes. She started yelling â€œLook at what they did to my babyâ€, he said.
Ms. Miles immediately took action by stopping at the nearest store to purchase a camera to get shots of her son before taking him to the emergency room. These are some of the images.Â Who would do such a thing? The Police.
What about the police officers? According to the family, the police crafted a completely dishonest criminal complaint, designed to explain Jordanâ€™s gruesome injuries and justify their own corrupted actions. They lied about what happened, claiming there was a bulge in his pocket they assumed was a gun but â€œturned out to be a Mountain Dew bottle.â€ Huh?
Not surprisingly, the Pittsburgh DA has not brought any charges against these three officers and the Justice Department announced on May 4th, 2011 that it would not prosecute them. The Pittsburgh Mayor and Chief of Police announced on May 5th that the three officers would be returning to their jobs.
The inaction against the White officers has sparked cries of racism by community activists who have continued to pressure the Justice Department to bring charges against them.Â People around the world are calling Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala at 412.350.4400Â and demanding that he file charges against the three police officers. I called and left a message.
Pittsburgh Hip-Hop artist and activist Jasiri X recently premiered his video â€œJordan Milesâ€ at a community gathering in the city. It got a standing ovation and Jasiri said Jordanâ€™s mother loved it. Watch it below.
Wherever you reside, do your part to help fight against police brutality.Â If this was your child, what would you want to see done?Â We Are Jordan Miles!Â www.justiceforjordanmiles.com
P.S.â€“During President Barack Obamaâ€™s Twitter Townhall Meeting today, we attempted to ask him what he thought about this case and others. He didnâ€™t get around to our questionâ€¦oh well. Better luck next time, huh?