PITTSBURGH — The photos taken by Jordan Miles' mother show his face covered with raw, red bruises, his cheek and lip swollen, his right eye swollen shut. A bald spot mars the long black dreadlocks where the 18-year-old violist says police tore them from his head.
Now, 10 days after plainclothes officers stopped him on a street and arrested him after a struggle that they say revealed a soda bottle under his coat, not the gun they suspected, his right eye is still slightly swollen and bloodshot. His head is shaved. The three white officers who arrested him have been reassigned. And his mother says she is considering a lawsuit.
'I feel that my son was racially profiled,' Terez Miles said. '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.'
A judge continued the case until Feb. 18 after the officers failed to appear at a hearing Thursday, Miles' attorney, Kerrington Lewis, said.
The police department is saying little as it investigates and isn't releasing the officers' names. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said that the city is investigating whether the officers' actions were justified and that if they weren't, 'they will be held accountable for those actions.'
'The incident was very troubling to me, and we're taking it very seriously,' Ravenstahl told reporters. 'It seems as if there was a tremendous amount of force used.'
Miles' family describes him as a studious teenager who plays the viola for a jazz band and the orchestra at Pittsburgh's prestigious Creative and Performing Arts High School.
The confrontation began around 11 p.m. Jan. 12, when the teenager walked out of his mother's home and headed to his grandmother's, where he spends most nights. His mother complimented him on the new jacket he had gotten for his birthday.TO READ MORE, CLICK HERE