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January 21, 2011

The Crime of Pittsburgh's Jordan Miles

You read stories about young black men who end up hurt or killed after interacting with police. Let me make an assumption that I can't prove, but seems true on its face: A lot of those young men were doing something they weren't supposed to do, a lot of them were criminals, a lot of them have prior records.

In the aftermath of the injury/death, the newspaper stories often describe the young man as an angel. He shoveled the snow at his Aunt's house. He helped a friend move. He was a good kid that didn't mean any harm. He planned to get his GED next year. He was a choir boy. Let me make another assumption I can't prove: most of the time, that dead young man wasn't really a choir boy. Most of the time.

Sometimes a mistake is made. Everybody make mistakes. There's not too many.

Sometimes it's no mistake. Sometimes Rogue cops, out-of-control bad cops, beat up a kid who is, in fact, an honor student and a choir boy. The cops get to write the reports, they have control of the scene, they produce the record of what happened. What does the kid have?

One year ago this week, Jordan Miles, a senior at the city's Creative and Performing Arts high school, was beaten by three cops. They beat him, tazed him, left him with a tree branch impaling his gums, and then filed charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest against him.

In reality, his only crime was WWB: Walking While Black.

Let me also say: ninety-nine percent of police officers are excellent people who care. That's why they're cops. God bless them.

continuing - - -


Anonymous said...

Has anyone bothered to make a list of the facts? Some may be disputed, but let's deal in facts on this issue--not the rantings of emotion nor the black community that shifts into "automatic" to claim racial bias. Like Joe Friday said: "Just the facts, ma'am."

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