NextBurgh, PA          @VannevarB      About      Pittsburgh Murals
February 04, 2012

I'll take "Curiouser and Curiouser" for 75K, please

According to the Post-Gazette, legislation will be introduced at City Council on Tuesday authorizing payment of $75,000 to Jordan Miles in a partial settlement of his federal lawsuit about Pittsburgh police brutality.

The partial settlement would dismiss the city and its officials from the suit, but leave intact the litigation against the three officers Mr. Miles accuses of beating him on a Homewood street in January 2010.

The city had previously offered $180K as a complete settlement, which Mr. Jordan rejected. That offer was generally understood as a legal technique to deny Mr. Jordan's legal fees if any final award comes in at less than $180K; it was, in fact, a technique challenging his legal representation.

This legislation before Council could be very interesting. Nobody wants to have their name attached to the settlement offer, nobody will admit to wrong-doing; it's a "jeopardy calculation". A few points:
  • The settlement will remove Mayor Luke Ravenstahl from accountability
  • There's no indication the settlement is acceptable to Jordan Miles

The City is willing to pay $75K to change the narrative to say: Stuff happens. It's not Luke Ravenstahl's fault; it's not the City's fault; it's not a systemic fault. Maybe those three individual policemen did something wrong, but not the City, not the Police Department, not their Training, and definitely not the City's policy regarding "99 cars" a/k/a "jump cars". It's not like there's any recent history.

It would be fascinating if Council disapproves the settlement because they'd like to see the City have a moment of truth in Court - the whole "justice be done" thing.

Personally, I hope Jordan Miles' legal team gives the City a beating just like the City gave to Jordan Miles, because until that happens the politicians accountable for the police department will continue to view the FOP as a voting block and nothing will change.



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