A police dashcam video released on March 22nd, 2019 shows a West Virginia police officer punching and kicking a handcuffed teen during a traffic stop made last November. The handcuffed boy can be seen on the ground with the officer kneeling on his shoulder and punching him repeatedly. The officers hit the boy until he went limp.
Footage Shows What Occurred
Wilkes Delligatti, Berkeley County Prosecutor, released the eight-minute video taken from a sheriff’s cruiser. Two officers can be seen in the video yanking the teenage boy through the driver’s side window and throwing him on the ground. The boy lands face-first and is immediately handcuffed without reading his rights.
The officers then proceed to kick and stomp on him several times before one of the officers places his knee on the teen’s shoulder. He can be seen pressing the boy down with his full weight before punching him at least 8 times. The teen is pulled to his feet a minute later, but remains limp. He is mercilessly thrown on the side of the road.
One Officer Indicted
Gov. Jim Justice stated that the incident put a dark shadow on the entire police department. Troopers Derek Walker, Michael Kennedy, and a sheriff’s deputy were fired on January 2019. However, the deputy was recently hired again.
Kennedy was indicted by a federal grand jury for deprivation of rights under color of law, which describes crimes committed by law enforcement officials while on the job. The indictment has accused Kennedy of police brutality and using excessive force that resulted in bodily injury.
State police claim that the teen was involved in a car crash with the sheriff’s cruiser which prompted the pursuit. He hit the cruiser again before being apprehended. The teen boy was treated at a hospital for his injuries and later released. It’s hard for police to hold back their temper when some people are completely reckless.
Videos are Important in Police Misconduct Lawsuits
Video footage, from body cam, dashboard cam, and cellphones is considered vital evidence by most police misconduct lawyers. However, it is critical to speak with an experienced police misconduct attorney before making the video public. Defense attorneys can always use loopholes in the law to render the video inadmissible as evidence.
Nature of a police brutality crime and the extent of damages and injuries can be clearly portrayed or proved by way of videos. It can also show whether an officer was in the middle of making a ‘life and death’ decision or not. A majority of law enforcement officials who are accused of police brutality seek immunity afforded under split-second decisions.