Two New Ersey police officers have been charged with punching and then lying to an Arab-American teenager.
Patterson Police Officer Kevin Patino և Kendry Tineo-Restituo are facing civil rights and justice charges over an alleged incident.
Investigators have accused them of depriving the then-19-year-old Osama Alsace of his unjustified search warrant and confiscation of constitutional rights, claiming they lied about it in a police incident report.
The December 2020 incident was filmed based on surveillance video and was investigated by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office in February.
Mr Patino, 29, and Mr Tineo-Restituo, 28, were handed over to authorities on Tuesday and released on $ 50,000 bonds.
Both officers had to hand in their travel documents, firearms, and the judge ordered Mr. Partino to undergo mental health tests.
No officer filed a motion during the trial.
Mr. Patino’s lawyer, Anthony Ayakulo, said in a statement that he was “confident” that the process would “justify Officer Patino, confirming that his actions, based on all that happened that night, are appropriate.”
Mr Alsace was on his way to the Amazon at 1 a.m. when he was allegedly attacked by officers who, according to court documents, were responding to a call from a “suspect”.
Surveillance video reportedly shows officers briefly talking to Mr Al-Saidi before his alleged attack.
Mr Alsace’s lawyers said he had suffered a number of physical injuries, including a head injury, concussion, multiple cuts and bruises, as well as anxiety, stress and depression.
The officers are also accused of making false statements in their report.
For example, the police report falsely states that the victim went to the officers’ “screaming curses”, “belligerent actions”, that the victim hit Patino on the chest with his fist. “None of this was true,” said a statement from the US Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.
If found guilty, officers face up to 10 years in prison for civil rights offenses, up to 20 years in prison for falsifying records, and a maximum of $ 250,000 in fines for each charge, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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