When 18-year-old Pittsburgh resident Jordan Miles was surrounded by three disreputable-looking men on the way to his grandmother's house, he did the entirely sensible thing: He fled, thinking that the marauders were criminals.
Unfortunately for Miles, his assailants weren't common criminals, but rather the state-employed variety -- undercover police officers. Street criminals would likely have left him alone. The police not only severely beat him but -- in keeping with standard procedure -- accused him of several supposed crimes, including "loitering," "resisting arrest," and "aggravated assault" (presumably by staining the fists of his assailants with his blood).
When the undercover officers materialized, the honor student ran three steps before slipping and falling to the sidewalk, whereupon the heroic guardians of the public weal attacked him with a stun gun and beat him with fists, knees, and a branch -- and tore out a huge chunk of hair for good measure. (See photos of the beating victim here.)
The hired thugs claimed in a criminal report that the 5'6", 150-pound viola player looked "suspicious" and appeared to be armed with a "heavy object"; the weapon in question proved to be a bottle of Mountain Dew, an admittedly deadly concoction but one that is dangerous only to those who consume it.
As is usually the case in incidents of this kind, the assailants described their assault in self-serving terms.
The report claims that the tax-engorged bullies identified themselves as police, a morally inconsequential detail disputed by the victim. When Miles tried to free himself, the officers "delivered 2-3 closed fist strikes to Miles' head/face with still no effect," and then inflicted a "knee strike to Miles' head causing him to momentarily stop resisting," so that handcuffs could be slapped on the victim's wrists. The victim later recalled that "I thought I was going to die" beneath the courageous ministrations of Pittsburgh's, ahem, "finest."
All of this abuse was justified, the report insists, because it was used only "to subdue the teenager as he tried to get away," in the words of a CNN summary. A rapist who beats a would-be victim can make exactly the same claim, of course.
The supposed men responsible for this crime have been "punished" by being re-assigned to duty as uniformed officers. Their identity, unlike that of the victim, is being withheld from the public.