Two police officers have just been indicted on charges of conspiracy and misconduct. But until a dashboard video was released, the man who they victimized was actually the one in trouble.
Officers accused Marcus Jeter, 30, of eluding police, prosecutors said. He faced these charges in Newark Superior Court, and was originally facing a years-long prison sentence. But that was when the video of New Jersey Officers Orlando Trinidad and Sean Courter, both 33, had not yet been released. Once it was, the tables turned very quickly.
“The first plea was five years,” Jeter explained.
But when Steven Brown, Jeter’s attorney, filed a request for records, the dash-cam video showing what really happened June 7, 2012 showed that the police were the real criminals in this case.
The video shows Jeters with his hands clearly above his head.
“The next thing I know, one of them busts the door and there is glass all over my face,” Jeters told local WABC-TV.
“As soon as they opened the door, one officer reached in and punched me in my face. As he’s trying to take off my seat belt, I’m thinking, ‘Something is going to go wrong.’”
The cops kept telling him to “stop resisting” and claimed that he was “going for” their guns. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
“And when they open the [police car] door, about to put me in, the officer hits me in the back of the head again,” Jeter recounted.
Jeters subsequently had all of his charges dropped, and both cops were arraigned on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct, tampering with public records and false swearing, according to Essex County prosecutors. Officer Trinidad also faces an aggravated assault charge on top of everything else.
Both cops pleaded not guilty and were released on their own recognizance after being arraigned in court on Friday.