Two New Jersey police officers have been charged with beating and lying about an Arab American teenager.
Police officers Paterson Kevin Patino and Kendry Tineo-Restituyo face civil rights and obstruction of justice charges for the alleged incident.
Investigators accused them of depriving then 19-year-old Osamah Alsaidi of his constitutional right not to be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures and also claim to have lied about it on a police incident report.
The December 2020 incident was captured on surveillance video and led to an investigation in February by the New Jersey attorney general’s office.
Mr. Patino, 29, and Mr. Tineo-Restituyo, 28, surrendered to authorities on Tuesday and were released on $ 50,000 bonds.
The two officers had to hand over travel documents and firearms and Mr. Partino was ordered by a judge for a mental health examination.
Neither officer pleaded at the hearing.
Mr Patino’s attorney, Anthony Iacullo, said in a statement he was “confident” that the process “would justify Officer Patino and establish that his actions, based on all of what happened. that night, were appropriate. ”
Mr Alsaidi was on his way for an hour-long shift at Amazon when he was allegedly attacked by officers, who, according to court documents, were responding to a call about a “suspicious person”.
Surveillance video reportedly shows police talking briefly to Mr Alsaidi before he was allegedly attacked.
Lawyers for Mr Alsaidi said he suffered multiple physical injuries, including head trauma, concussion and multiple cuts and bruises, as well as anxiety, stress and depression.
The officers are also accused of making false statements in their report.
“For example, the police report falsely stated that the victim went to the police ‘profanity’ and“ acting belligerently ”and that the victim hit Patino with a closed fist in the chest. None of this was true, ”says a press release from the New Jersey United States Attorney’s Office.
If found guilty, officers each face a maximum of 10 years in prison for violating civil rights, a maximum of 20 years in prison for falsifying a record charge, and a maximum fine of $ 250,000 for each charge. , according to the US attorney. Office.
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