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January 30, 2011

"Do Not Cross" Pittsburgh FOP

"Cop Drama" is an excellent article in the City Paper by Chris Young, about an ongoing show situated in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, it is not a television series that the Pittsburgh Film Office can take credit for; it is a case of real life imitating bad art. But if this were a series, the key points of this week's show would include:
  • Outcry over the beating of Jordan Miles has been overshadowed, if not replaced, by the hue-and-cry over a spoof press release on the first anniversary of the beating
  • "If we catch anyone with regard to this, it's going to be multiple felonies," FOP President Dan O'Hara was quoted as saying in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. I don't think the FOP, which is an employee union, is entitled to conduct investigations, seize evidence, or file felony charges.
  • According to an affidavit of probable cause -- a sworn statement needed to justify the Dreaming Ant search warrant -- police were forwarded a copy of the statement by WTAE-TV reporter Ashlie Hardway.
  • The role of WTAE and Ashlie Hardway in sending the police squad to Crazy Mocha / Dreaming Ant to seize their hard drive and router has not yet been fully explored.
  • Pittsburgh ACLU says the press release "is parody protected by the First Amendment"
  • "It's a part of democratic free speech," says Pittsburgh City Councilor Bill Peduto
  • a neologism was introduced: "douchenarchists"

Kudos to City Paper, Chris Young, Chris Potter, and Sadie Gurman, the only Pittsburgh journalists who seem to be working this beat.

Although the Post-Gazette reporting staff seems too interested in Steelers pep-rallies to cover the story, the PG Editorial Board awoke, arose on their hind legs, and wrote an interesting piece on Friday:
A year after what looks like the unnecessarily harsh treatment of a law-abiding citizen, there is no sign of movement toward a just conclusion.

Pittsburghers have a right to know what happened to Jordan Miles. He and the officers have a right to see the facts aired in public. Until that day, a cloud will hang over Pittsburgh and what passes for justice, accountability and transparency in this city.

Finally, in the top-left corner of this blog, you will find a Justice Delay Counter which keeps track of the number of days since Jordan Miles was beaten without any accountability. At press time, 383 days and waiting.


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