Following the verdict and a mad dash, with members of the Associated Press, New York Times, and Pittsburgh print and TV media, I found myself lined up outside the federal courthouse in “Media Alley”.
As we waited for Jordan and all of the attorneys to come outside for interviews, we discussed the jury’s findings among ourselves. None of us could believe that the jury didn’t find that excessive force was used by the officers and we couldn’t fathom how anyone could consider that there had been a false arrest but the brutal level of force used was acceptable.
Following Jordan Miles and his attorney’s statements to media, we waited outside the federal courthouse for the officers and their attorneys to face our cameras and questions.
The officers instead slunk out a side entrance of the courthouse by US Marshal escort to a waiting undercover police car ready to drive them away.
A visibly bummed out James Wymard began telling media that Jordan had refused a $180,000 settlement offer before the first civil trial, touting that the jury’s decision on damages is $60,000 less than the offer and in refusing the city’s settlement offer puts Jordan on the hook for all city expert witness expenses (one city witness alone has cost the city between 40 and 50 thousand dollars alone in the last 4 years.) And other costs. (Asst. City Solicitor Mike Kennedy confirmed that the city may bill Miles.)
The morning started out ordinarily enough for everyone. Jurors reported to Judge Cercone’s jury room by 9 a.m. and began their second day of deliberations. Media camped outside Courtroom 7 are joking with one another and discussing stories that broke over the weekend. Covering court proceedings is slow and exhausting, there’s a lot of hurry up and wait. All of that would change by the end of the day.
“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,”
Joel Sansone sat in the empty jury box before the opening of court, quietly reflecting and getting ready to argue for Jordan Miles. He briefly stepped out before court began, to joke with media that they weren’t reporting how good he looks. Mainstream and independent media sat quietly chatting with one another and speculating on how long deliberations would take. At 9:30 a.m., Judge Cercone’s tiny courtroom became Sparta for seven hours as both sides aggressively fought and argued for their clients.