Police charged a New Jersey man with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer, but recently revealed footage from a dashboard camera told a different story: Not only did the officers start beating the man for no apparent reason, but they actually crashed one of their vehicles into the man’s car.
Then they allegedly lied about what transpired and suppressed the evidence, but were somehow found innocent during an internal investigation.
Prosecutors, however, dropped all charges against 30-year-old Marcus Jeter, a black man, once they saw the incredible video footage, which fully corroborates Jeter’s side of the story.
Jeter’s nightmare began when Bloomfield police pulled him over on the highway. Police claimed that Jeter eluded them, even though the footage clearly shows him pulling over promptly.
One of the officer’s approached Jeter’s vehicle with his gun raised, and pointed it directly in Jeter’s face. Another officer was carrying a shotgun in the altercation.
“I was afraid that I might get shot,” said Jeter in an interview with WABC.
What happened next was so crazy that Jeter’s lawyer didn’t believe it–until he saw the footage for himself. Another cop car responded to the scene and crashed right into Jeter’s vehicle. This detail was not mentioned at all in the police report, and the officers pretended like it never happened–until the video contradicted them.
Next, the footage clearly shows Jeter raising his hands in the air, initiating no violence against the officers. The cops respond by punching him repeatedly, all while yelling at him, “Stop resisting! Stop resisting!”
Jeter was not resisting in the slightest. And yet he was eventually charged with eluding arrest, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. Prosecutors offered him a plea deal of 5 years in prison, according to Watchdog Wire.
Thankfully, local reporters were able to dig up the video footage–which prosecutors claimed they had never seen. After watching it, they dropped all charges against Jeter.
The officers involved are now facing various charges, including assault, misconduct and tampering with evidence.
One of those officers, Orlando Trinidad, gave an interview on Wednesday in which he claimed that his behavior toward Jeter is explained by the fact that he didn’t know whether Jeter had a gun. Trinidad was scared for his life, he said.
But Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia was outraged, and said the police had clearly attempted a cover-up, according to the New York Daily News.
Another disturbing detail–an internal affairs investigation conducted by the Bloomfield police department found no wrongdoing on the part of the officers.
In a statement, Jeter told reporters that he would likely be in jail if the video footage was never released.
“I’m sure that if this happened to me, this could happen to a bunch of other people,” he said.