Former high school student Jordan Miles testified Thursday against three police Pittsburgh police officers he says assaulted and arrested him one night in 2010 as he was walking to his grandmother’s house.
In a federal civil rights lawsuit, Miles, who is black, alleges that the officers, who are white, wrongfully arrested him and used excessive force in doing so, the Associated Press reports.
Miles’s face was severely swollen after his encounter with the officers, as pictures taken in the hospital after the incident and viewed by AP showed. Examinations confirmed that the then-teenager could have been hit some 14 times in the head.
“It hurt to move just about every part of my body,” Miles, now 22, testified.
The officers acknowledged punching and kneeing the viola player and former honors student repeatedly in the head, but they said that that level of force was necessary to keep him from reaching for what they believed was a gun.
The officers said that Miles had a bottle of Mountain Dew in one of his pockets and that they mistook the object for a gun, but Miles said that he didn’t have a soda and that he did not even drink that beverage.
Miles also said that he agreed to take a drug test at the hospital to prove that he wasn’t on drugs and that the test result was negative, AP reports.
Miles testified that he thought the officers were muggers when they approached him late at night in an unmarked car and did not identify themselves.
The officers, Michael Saldutte, David Sisak and Richard Ewing, said that Miles sustained most of his injuries when he was tackled by Sisak and driven head-first through a shrub.