HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two Bergen County police officers have been indicted on seven counts of misconduct, stemming from a car chase two years ago.
The pursuit of burglary suspect Francesco Piserchia led officers Saheed Baksh and Jeffrey Roberts from Paramus and through six towns, before ending in Bogota on Aug. 12, 2010.
Piserchia has now filed a $17 million lawsuit, saying that police opened fire even as he surrendered.
WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports
Baksh allegedly fired twice, missing the suspect. The charges are not centered on the officer’s use of force, but rather what happened after the shooting incident.
The grand jury indictment said the two officers removed shell casings from the scene and lied to detectives about what happened. Piserchia’s attorney said the indictment confirms that there was a cover up.
Charles Sciarra and Jay Fahy represent the officers. They said their clients are not in the video. They allege the indictment is a political move by the prosecutor.
“Now, suddenly, they get into these other political fights over consolidation and other related issues and we’re sitting here dealing with two guys, stellar records, absolutely no disciplinary issues in their history, just wonderful officers and they find themselves being used as a political football. This is outrageous,” Fahy said.
“Our client is absolutely innocent. We’re very happy we’re finally going to get our day in court,” Sciarra said.
Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli re-opened a criminal investigation.
There is a five-year minimum on each of the misconduct charges. The officers will be arraigned within the next six weeks, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The Bergen County prosecutor said the indictment is not political. He said the officers’ misconduct took place in 2010, way before a proposal to consolidate the Bergen County Police Department into the Sheriff’s office.
He also said he has evidence on tape of the officers looking at the shell casings.
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