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The federal government has accused two police officers in Paterson, New Jersey, of beating a teenager in front of the camera in December.
Officers Kevin Patino, 29, and Kendry Tineo-Restituyo, 28, are charged with denying Osamah Alsaidi, 20, his civil rights and then lying about them, prosecutors said Tuesday.
On December 14, Patiño and Tineo-Restituyo approached Alsaidi on the street and grabbed him, prosecutors said.
When the 19-year-old tried to free himself, according to the prosecution, Patiño beat him repeatedly while Tineo-Restituyo threw him to the ground. Police took turns beating him to the ground, according to the complaint.
The police allegedly produced a false report full of lies and omissions, which the government said the images were clearly disproven. Police said Alsaidi was acting belligerently and attacked the officers, prosecutors said.
In a February Instagram post, Alsaidi wrote that he “went to work” when the police approached “and started beating me for no reason.”
“They knocked me down (and) kept hitting my head on the ground, leaving me in the dark for a while,” Alsaidi said.
“I was 19 years old at the time and I have no criminal record. They humiliated me and treated me like an animal. They tortured me at the police station, ”continued the long guard.
The police are accused of violating civil rights, obstructing justice and filing a false police report. If convicted, they face 30 years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine.
“Police officers who abuse their positions to exercise power and injure citizens, which should protect them, violate our constitution and undermine trust in our public institutions,” said attorney in charge Rachael Honig.
Following the announcement, the Passaic County District Attorney’s Office took over the internal affairs of the Paterson Police Department, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.
Federal investigators have been investigating the corruption department for three years and at least 10 officials have been charged with misconduct.
Patiño’s attorney said he was not guilty of the charges, according to The Star Ledger.
“This is just the first step in the process that we believe will validate Agent Patiño and determine that his actions were appropriate based on the totality of what happened that night,” Anthony said. Iacullo in the newspaper.
Tineo-Restituyo’s attorney declined to comment on the news agency.
According to the report, the agents are free on an unsecured bond of $ 50,000.