(Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Jordan Miles’ mother today offered sympathy to the family of Trayvon Martin and drew parallels between her son’s case and the Florida teen’s, saying both black males were racially profiled while “walking down the street, minding their own business.”

“They were unfairly profiled and assumed to be up to no good,” Terez Miles said at a rally that drew about 50 people to Mellon Park in Shadyside.

The Alliance for Police Accountability has held a series of rallies around the city to demand that three city officers be prosecuted for beating Mr. Miles on a Homewood street in January 2010. This time, protesters also decried the deaths of 17-year-old Trayvon, who was shot dead by a block watch captain Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., and 31-year-old Jonny Gammage, a black motorist who died of positional asphyxiation during a 1995 altercation with police in the South Hills.

“My heart goes out to them,” Terez Miles said of Trayvon’s family.

George Zimmernan, who is white and Hispanic, has been charged with second-degree murder in Trayvon’s death. He said he began following the unarmed Trayvon because he looked suspicious and that the youth attacked him.

At the time of his altercation with police, Mr. Miles was an honors student at the city’s creative arts high school, Downtown.

He said white undercover officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte and David Sisak beat him without provocation as he walked between his mother’s and grandmother’s houses. Police said Mr. Miles appeared to be carrying a weapon — none ever was found — and refused to stop when ordered.

The U.S. attorney’s office declined to prosecute the officers for civil-rights violations, and Mr. Miles’ supporters are demanding that Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. file criminal charges against them. Mr. Zappala hasn’t made a decision, and Mr. Miles’ supporters Saturday said he should step down if he can’t make the decision to file charges.

Brandi Fisher, chairman of the alliance, said rallies will be held monthly for the next three months.

“The reason I fight is that our children have a right to be who they are,” Ms. Fisher said.

(Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

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