Dashcam Clears Bloomfield Man Of Resisting Arrest; 2 Officers Charged
BLOOMFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A second dashboard camera that recorded the 2012 arrest of a New Jersey man accused of resisting arrest has surfaced and so have new charges against the two arresting officers.
Bloomfield police officers Orlando Trinidad and Sean Courter, both 33, have been charged with conspiracy, misconduct and records tampering.
All charges against the defendant, 30-year-old Bloomfield resident Marcus Jeter, were dropped.
The newly released video shows Trinidad and Courter’s cruiser crossing the median through oncoming traffic and banging into Jeter’s car head-on as it is stopped along the Garden State Parkway – a fact that was left out of the police report, according to Jeter’s attorney, Stephen Brown.
It also shows Jeter with his hands in the air virtually the entire time. “He didn’t move,” Brown said Tuesday. “He just froze.”
When combined, the two dashboard cameras show Jeter pulling over to the side of the road, putting his hands in the air while still buckled up behind the wheel of his car, an officer breaking out the window and unbuckling Jeter, and Jeter being punched and wrestled to the ground.
Brown said the new video was turned over by the town of Bloomfield after he filed an open-records request. Prosecutors had not seen the second dashboard video before Jeter was charged.
Trinidad and Courter pleaded not guilty and were released without bail.
Trinidad also faces charges of aggravated assault. His attorney, Patrick Toscano, told The Star-Ledger newspaper both officers responded properly.
Toscano said that evidence shows Jeter refused orders to get out of the car by refusing to roll down the window. He argued Trinidad had crossed the median in his cruiser and tapped Jeter’s car to prevent him from escaping, after a call over his radio said the suspect was dangerous and had eluded police.
Brown said in an interview that the encounter shows why the state should make it mandatory that all cruisers be equipped with dashboard cameras.
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