Sometimes surveillance works in citizens’ favor.
A New Jersey man was facing five years in prison for charges of eluding police and assault, after he was arrested during a traffic stop. Now a second police dashcam video, obtained by a reporter, has revealed that the man had his hands up and was beaten by police. Charges against Marcus Jeter of Bloomfield, New Jersey have been dropped, and two Bloomfield police officers have been charged with falsifying records. One of the officers, Orlando Trinidad, has also been charged with aggravated assault, and a third pleaded guilty earlier to tampering.
If the video had not been revealed, according to Jeter’s defense attorney, “an innocent man would be in jail today.”
Vigils against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline were held across the country Monday after the State Department released a report on the project that environmentalists said was biased. The environmental impact statement said that the pipeline would not substantially increase carbon pollution. Activist groups disputed that claim and pointed out that an investigation is ongoing into possible conflicts of interest regarding the report. Some consultants who worked on a draft of the report are alleged to have previously worked for TransCanada, the proposed builder of the pipeline.
A broad coalition of environmental groups maintains that the pipeline, which would transport tar-sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, would have a devastating impact on the environment. Activists said an “army” of more than 77,000 citizens is prepared to commit civil disobedience to prevent the construction of the pipeline.