NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A jury convicted two Bloomfield, New Jersey police officers of official misconduct and other charges Thursday.
On June 7, 2012, officers Orlando Trinidad and Sean Courter accused 30-year-old Bloomfield resident Marcus Jeter of resisting arrest and reaching for an officer’s weapon during a traffic stop on the Garden State Parkway.
Dashcam video that later surfaced, however, showed a very different version of events.
The video showed Trinidad’s police 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 showed Jeter with his hands in the air virtually the entire time.
When combined with dashcam video that was released earlier, the video evidence showed 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, Courter 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.
All charges against Jeter were dropped after the second dashcam video was released.
Following a five-week trial, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said the jury found Courter, 35, and Trinidad, 34, guilty of conspiracy to commit official misconduct, official misconduct, tampering with public records, falsifying public records and false swearing. Trinidad was also found guilty of simple assault.
Trinidad and Courter are due back in court on Jan. 11 for sentencing. Both officers face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
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