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.”
Two former Fullerton, California police officers were acquitted January 13 in the fatal beating of a mentally ill homeless man in 2011.
The former officers, Jay Cicinelli and Manuel Ramos, were charged over the death of Kelly Thomas. Surveillance video, embedded above, shows police officers beating and tasing the man, minutes after Ramos says, “See these fists? … They’re getting ready to fuck you up.” Thomas died of his injuries five days later.
The Orange County jury found Ramos not guilty of second degree murder or involuntary manslaughter, and Cicinelli not guilty of involuntary manslaughter or excessive use of force. After the verdict, the FBI announced that it would examine evidence in the case to determine whether further investigation is warranted.
Ron Thomas, Kelly’s father, told the Associated Press, “Police officers everywhere can beat us, kill us, whatever they want, but it has been proven right here today they’ll get away with it.”