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Trial Into Police Shooting Is One Of 'Perspective,' Lawyers Say

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - Attorneys told a federal jury that a trial into whether a white Pittsburgh police officer violated the rights of a black man by shooting and paralyzing him as he sped away from a traffic stop is one of perspective.

Attorney Joseph Santarone Jr. told the jury they must, "Look at it from the officers' standpoint," in his opening statement Wednesday on behalf of Officers David Derbish and Andrew Miller. Miller's accused of assault and battery for trying to drag Ford from the car.

On Tuesday, Monte Rabner - an attorney for 24-year-old Leon Ford - likened the ill-fated, 12-minute traffic stop in November 2012 to an episode of "Keystone Cops."

Ford's attorneys sued claiming police escalated the situation by mistaking Ford for a wanted gang member with a similar name and appearance.

Santarone contends Derbish shot Ford only because Derbish "feared for his life" when Ford tried to drive away with Derbish partially in the car.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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