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Jordan Miles Civil Trial #2 Day 12 Plaintiff Closing Arguments Recap
Photo: D. Carpenter (Miles Attorney, Joel Sansone speaking with WTAE TV Channel 4 reporter, Bob Mayo.)
Following the lunch break and two hours of defense closing arguments, Joel put his arm around Jordan Miles, giving the young man a pep talk, followed by an intense look of mutual admiration and respect. They smiled at each other, shook hands, then took their place at the plaintiff’s table.
Sansone would deliver to jurors a 2-hour-long emotional plea, as well as attacking the defense’s case.
“‘I’ve been arrested. I don’t know why. I’ve been beaten and I don’t know why.’ The words of an 18-year-old boy to his mom on the phone from jail. Those words will forever ring in his mother’s ears,” Sansone began.
“Are you confused by what the defense told you? I am,” Sansone told jurors.
“I’m disappointed in James Wymard for one mistake he made,” Sansone told jurors. “He has no idea what anyone told a grand jury four years ago because no-one does. As Judge Cercone told you, those records are sealed, and no one has access to them,” Sansone continued.
“Each one has mistaken the facts,” Sansone told jurors while pointing at the defense and their lawyers.
“They did do a jump-out on him, you know,” Sansone told the jury. “Then they exacted a little frontier justice on him because he ran.”
Sansone would switch to a brief history lesson and why the Fourth amendment is one of the most important amendments in our bill of rights.
“Let’s review the evidence of the wrongdoing of these men,” Sansone said again, motioning toward the three defendants.
“The most important witness in this trial is Jordan Miles.”
“Homewood is not a denizen of criminals… people live there, shop there, go to church there,” Sansone said.
“They (the officers) never really came up with a good reason as to what Jordan was doing wrong. If he (Jordan) saw them coming in the 99 car, how did they not see him until he was hiding in plain sight near a house as they suggest?”
Sansone would then do a impression of Jordan Miles hiding in plain sight, as the officers suggested, to an entire courtroom of laughter.
“Is it lawful to jump-out, not identify yourself and make an arrest?… No!” Sansone told jurors.
“Does anyone here not think that the police bend the rules?” Sansone said.
“These men kept their badges hidden to get the jump on my client and surprise him because, in their eyes, he looked like a drug dealer.”
“Tell me how these three big tough guy frontier justice men escaped this so called fight of their lives without a scratch on them while my client ended up in the hospital? Oh, I’m sorry Sisak—who I will get to in a minute—had a scratch on his knew from where he claims my client kicked him… could be that he got that scratch when he went down on some rocks in a yard, while punching my client in the head and hitting him with a flashlight,” Sansone went on.
“Was Ryan Allen’s testimony not the most awkward testimony you’ve ever seen?” Sansone would briefly change the subject.
“Who was more likely to be screaming for help that night, a kid being beaten by three strangers, or a big tough guy police officer?”
“I don’t think it was the bush. I think it was one of these frontier justice guys who ripped out his (Jordan’s) hair while repeatedly punching him,” Sansone told jurors.
“We never heard what my client actually did wrong, that warranted a stop but what we did hear was that this guy, Sisak, lost all kinds of stuff that night,” Sansone pointed out to the jury.
“How could he (Sisak) miss seeing a gun clip, as he put Monica Wooding’s trash can’s down on top of it? You heard her say, Sisak was picking up her garbage cans, and the next morning—underneath one he had touched—a gun clip matching his gun was found? What was he doing, planting evidence?” Sansone asked the jurors.
“Did you see the defense call any of their supervisors or Pittsburgh Police brass to support them or their actions? Think about that.” Sansone told the jury.
“You saw Mr. Ewing wrap himself in the flag and say, ‘I never said that, you’re putting words in my mouth.’ No, I didn’t. I showed him transcripts of his own testimony and two fellow officers have testified here to his own words. Ewing said they did a jump-out.’
Sansone would then attack officer Saldutte and officer Sisak’s stories.
“Now, Lets come to Rick Ewing, maybe one of the biggest disappointments of them all,” Sansone said, as he began to wrap up his argument.
“He hid behind the American flag and lied to us all repeatedly. He refused to man up and answer my questions,” Sansone told the jurors.
“This case is the result of police officers out of control. What message will you send to those officers who come after these three? It’s your job to defend our Constitution and to tell them we will not allow this. The message is yours to send.”
“For the love of God, do what’s right.”
Following a brief break after Joel’s arguments, all three officers and their lawyers stood together in silence staring down at the floor.
The jury will now deliberate.