Beatings and profiling should not be part of police’s job description

I have the utmost respect for police officers and the job they do. It takes courage and guts to do their job. I just wanted to make that clear before starting.

Jordan Miles, an 18-year-old Pittsburgh resident and violist who attends the city’s prestigious Creative and Performing Arts High School, was beaten by three plainclothes police officers because they thought he had a gun, according to an Associated Press wire report. It turns out it was only a bottle of Mountain Dew, according to the police affidavit.

To begin at the beginning: Miles left his mother’s house at about 11 p.m. Jan. 12 and headed for his grandmother’s house, where he spends most nights, wearing a new jacket he received for his birthday, according to the wire report.

Miles noticed three men in a white car as he walked, and said he “thought nothing of it,” according to the AP report.

Now the story splits: Miles said he was walking when the three men got out of the car and shouted at him, “Where’s the money? Where’s the gun? Where’s the drugs?” He said he tried to run back to his mother’s house but slipped on the icy sidewalk and before he could get up, the men began beating, punching, kicking and choking him.

Miles said he was arrested 15 minutes later when uniformed officers arrived in a van and put handcuffs on him.

According to the police affidavit, Miles was standing against a building “as if he was trying to avoid being seen.” Miles appeared to have something heavy in his pocket, which police believed to be a gun. That “gun” was actually a Mountain Dew bottle, according to the affidavit.

Miles insists he didn’t have anything in his pocket.

I’m all for the due process of law and investigating this incident, but this beating was uncalled for and over the top. Don’t believe me? Search “Jordan Miles WTAE TV” on YouTube, click on the second result and look at the pictures of Miles.

I understand it must really be stressful to be a police officer, considering how much negativity they attract because of gangster rap and incidents such as this, and it’s this stupid attitude of hating the police in rap that might have supplied those police officers with a bad image of Miles that caused them to act in the way they did.

But I’m tired of hearing about police beating up people like this. It’s wrong, sick and hateful. Even if Miles did have a gun, was it not enough to get him on the ground and subdue him? Was it necessary to, as Miles said, beat, punch, kick and choke him?

No, it was not.

I thought police were not supposed to profile. Obviously not in the case of these three boneheads.

According to the wire report, the officers have been reassigned to uniformed duty. After the investigation and court case, and if the officers are found to be guilty or to have done wrong, I hope they are fired immediately and never get a job like that again. It’s the very least that can be done for Miles.

Marshall Doig is a sophomore news-editorial journalism major from San Angelo.