This Pittsburgh case has me confused. Kaleb Miller, 22, has been given a $40,000 settlement after he was pistol-whipped and shot by an off-duty Pittsburgh police officer Paul Abel, 35. Abel was previously charged with drunken driving, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. However, in June, Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning acquitted Abel of the charges in a non-jury trial and then Abel was reinstated to the force. Now, the city is paying damages to Miller.
Abel testified that Miller walked up to his car and punched him while he was sitting at a red light about 2 a.m.– but witnesses testified that it was a different man. Miller and another man said that they were walking home from a convenience store when they saw Abel waving his weapon and yelling. Abel allegedly ordered Miller to get on the ground and stuck the barrel of his gun in Miller’s left eye. When Miller reached to protect his head,he was shot in the hand. Abel insisted that the gun simply went off accidentally.
The police found sufficient evidence to charge Abel and this included an allegation that he was drunk at the time of this encounter. Abel’s blood-alcohol level registered at 0.11 percent, over the legal driving limit of .08 percent. Yet he was reinstated to the force. Miller was never charged with any crime.
I can understand if the evidence did not meet the standard for beyond a reasonable doubt for Judge Manning. However, I am curious about the absence of discipline in the case. If anyone has more information on the underlying facts, please pass them along.
Source: Post Gazette