PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office is investigating alleged misconduct by Paterson police officers.
They’re accused of assaulting a 19-year-old without provocation back in December, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Tuesday.READ MORE: Black History Is Our History: Paterson Firefighters Breaking Barriers Every Day In Their Community
Osamah Alsaidi posted security video on Instagram, two months after he says two undercover Paterson police officers beat him, causing a head injury.
“They came out of the car, one of them came up and said, ‘What did you say?’ I told him, ‘I didn’t say nothing.’ And he just started punching me,” Alsaidi said.
The incident happened on Dec. 14 at around 12:30 a.m. in the area of 1245 Madison Ave. Alsaidi said he was walking to his car to go to work as an Amazon deliveryman. He said officers had been talking to someone else up the block.
“That’s when they came following me, asking what did I say,” Alsaidi said, adding when asked why he thinks he was stopped, “I don’t know.”
CBS2 doesn’t know what happened before the video starts and the footage doesn’t have audio, but according to a copy of the police report his lawyer has Alsaidi, then 19 years old, “walked toward these officers screaming profanities and acting belligerent, causing a disturbance to the residents around the surrounding area.”
The report also says officers ignored him, adding, “After a few moments, Mr. Alsaidi then got closer to these officers and proceeded to get in an aggressive fighting stance.”
Alsaidi was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
“They clearly made this up for some reason. We don’t know why. But they were clearly the aggressors here. They followed my client in their vehicle. They pulled up to him,” attorney Diego Navas said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations — or CAIR-NJ — held a virtual news conference with Alsaidi.
“Not terminating them and prosecuting them would be an insult to the residents of Paterson,” CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said.
“I want them to be held accountable. I don’t want them to get away with it,” Alsaidi said.
Gainer wanted to get the officers’ side of the story, but Paterson police said the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating. So is the state attorney general.
Mayor Andre Sayegh‘s office wouldn’t comment other than to say he’s grateful to the attorney general for taking swift action.
Alsaidi and his lawyer say days after the incident they filed a complaint with the Paterson police Internal Affairs department, but haven’t heard back.