A Baltimore Police officer is facing $5 million dollar brutality lawsuit after a video surfaced showing him repeatedly punching a man.
The video, which was released on Monday from the man’s lawyers, shows Police Officer Vincent Cosom repeatedly beating Kollin Truss, while another officer holds Truss’s arm as the blows are delivered to his head and torso. Officer Cosom punched Truss six times.
“Much like the public, I’m shocked, I’m outraged, I’m disgusted by what I saw by an employee of the Baltimore City Police Department,” Commissioner Anthony Batts said during a press conference addressing the video.
The attack happened three months ago on June 15 when Officer Cosom had a verbal exchange with Truss outside a liquor store. The officer’s report said Truss was intoxicated at the time and that he told the man to move when he was loitering in front of the shop.
Truss visited the store to make a purchase and came out sometime later, when he encountered Cosom again. The video showed Truss’ female friend pushing him away from her as more words were exchanged. Eventually Truss was backed into a nearby bus stop, where the alleged act of police brutality happened, according to the attorneys.
“The thing that bothers us is that the officer writes in his statement of facts that our client assaulted his girlfriend, but in fact that never happened,” Truss’ attorney Ivan Bates told Fox.
Truss was charged with assaulting an officer, but prosecutors dropped the charges after seeing the video.
Truss’ other attorney, Tony Garcia, told Fox, “The question that arises is why didn’t they pursue charges against the officer? It’s known the officer gave the report under penalty of perjury, and those other officers sat and watched, did nothing and perhaps wrote similar reports.”
Officer Truss has been suspended with pay. The internal affairs division is reportedly investigating the three-month old case.
Baltimore police officers will now start wearing body cameras.
Accusations of police brutality and videos backing up those claims have been in the news lately.
In New York in July, Eric Garner died after a police officer placed him in a chokehold during an arrest for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. Garner told the officer he couldn’t breathe, but his cries were ignored.
The chokehold is a prohibited method in the patrolmen’s guide, but not against the law in the state. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and now the case is before a special grand jury to decide whether to indict two officers.
The incident led New York police Commissioner Bill Bratton to conduct a review of training, but rights activists say it is allegations of police brutality that need review.
The following month on August 9, a police officer shot and killed teenager Michael Brown, which led to weeks of protests about excessive harassment by the majority-white police force in a majority-black community.
The grand jury is investigating now whether to indict the officer involved in the shooting, and the Justice Department is conducting its own investigation into whether Michael Brown’s civil rights were violated.