Police Abuse

Dashboard Footage Cops Tried to Hide Gets Jersey Man Acquitted, Cops Indicted

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Vivid example of why it's good for citizens when cops' actions are recorded, in a nice happy-ending story out of New Jersey, summed up by Raw Story over the weekend:

Evidence from a dashboard camera on a police cruiser ended a nightmare for a New Jersey man facing false charges of eluding police, resisting arrest and assault.

Prosecutors dismissed all the criminal charges against Marcus Jeter, 30, of Bloomfield, N.J. and instead indicted two Bloomfield police officers for falsifying reports and one of them for assault after the recording surfaced showing police officers beating Jeter during a traffic stop, according to WABC of New York. A third has pleaded guilty to tampering.

Jeter's defense attorney requested all recorded evidence, but the police failed to hand over a second tape until additional evidence surfaced of a second police car at the scene. The tape showed Jeter complying with police, even as one punched him in the head repeatedly.

The kicker:

Without the tape, prosecutors had been demanding a five-year prison sentence.

Reason classic by Radley Balko on cops' war against cameras, and Ronald Bailey arguing for filming cops at all times as a matter of policy.