Opening arguments began with a flurry of accusations before the first witness had even testified.
Jordan’s lawyer Robert Giroux began attacking the officers account of their encounter with Jordan Miles.
“I’ll tell you what they’re going to say (referring to the defense). Their CYA (cover your ass) story.”
“Their search for a gun was nonsense. How can you prove there was a bulge in his pocket, when you threw away the bottle?”
“They’ll tell you, he caused us to beat him up.”
Giroux ripped apart the entire police defense plan in his hour-long argument, as well as warning the jury that the defense will try to manipulate their feelings to secure a ruling in favor of the officers.
“That’s how desperate they are, to use these bullets to justify their actions,” Giroux hinted toward a cover up.
Opening first for the defense, James Wymard, recycled his opening from the first trial with minor differences. He emphazied how bad crime is in the Homewood area, mentioning burglary and rape multiple times as he addressed the four male, four female, all-white jury.
His argument was interrupted multiple times by Giroux objections. Giroux noted that much of what Wymard said was argumentative or trying to play to the jury’s feelings. His objections were sustained multiple times.
Wymard, kept telling the jurors that all Miles had to do was “stop” and then none of us would be in the courtroom today.
“We have no burden to prove anything in this case, It’s all on the plaintiffs,” another recycled line fromthe first trial.
Wymard also alleged that a member of Miles’ family, “Joy”, had tried to get Monica Harding to hide the magazine found the next day after the encounter. No magazine was ever recovered, and Wymard was basically alleging a Miles family coverup.
Wymard rambled on for an hour, painting the officers as heroes.
Fraternal Order of Police (the police union) attorney—and officer Mike Saldutte’s attorney—Bryan Campbell spent around 40 minutes similarly recycling his argument from the first trial to explain to the jury the “use of force continuum”—the levels of force officers can use to respond in situations.
Near the end of his argument, Campbell told the jury that “There’s a perception officers are being mean or brutal… It’s really just the officer following their training.”
Richard Ewing’s attorney, Robert Leight, waived his opening statement until the defense begins presenting their case.
Following the lunch break, Miles’ defense team began presenting their case
Patricia Porter, Miles’ grandmother, gave similar testimony as she had in the first trial, aside from one interesting piece of introduced evidence, the pea coat Jordan Miles was wearing on the night he was beaten and arrested. The jury inspected the coat, with it’s now broken zipper and torn elbow.
Interestingly, the three accused police officers arrived in an unmarked unit this morning, and performed a jump out, rushing by the cameras waiting outside. It happened in a manner of seconds, the car coming out of nowhere, stopping, and the three men jumping out. To paraphrase Wymard, if the three officers had simply “stopped” that fateful day in January 2010, and correctly identified themselves to Jordan as police officers, then none of us would be in the courtroom today.