Baltimore police have suspended an officer after he was caught on video repeatedly beating a man earlier this year.
Lawyers representing Kollin Truss, 32, said their client exchanged words with Baltimore City Police Department Officer Vincent Cosom on June 15 at 1:30 a.m., just before the cop repeatedly punched him, according to local WBALTV11. Cosom now faces a seven-count lawsuit from attorneys Ivan Bates and Tony Garcia, of Bates & Garcia, who claimed their client is the victim of police brutality.
“The pattern is all too clear, these types of police take a person’s dignity, force their submission, assault a person then charge the person with assaulting them. This is not justice,” attorneys wrote on the law firm’s Facebook page.
Cosom has been placed on administrative leave. The video footage of the incident was captured by police surveillance cameras.
On June 15, Cosom said he saw Truss, who was “very intoxicated,” “loitering” in front of a liquor store, and asked him to leave the premises, according to the officer’s account obtained by msnbc. The two apparently exchanged words. In his report, Cosom wrote that Truss and his woman friend began to argue, and Truss pushed her once they left the location. Cosom reentered the scene, and the two entered into a physical altercation, as seen in the video, before police arrested him and charged him with assaulting an officer.
The charges against Truss were later dropped once the state attorney’s office viewed the footage.
Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts expressed his anger at a news conference on Tuesday.
“Much like the public, I was shocked, I’m outraged, I’m disgusted by what I saw by an employee of the Baltimore Police Department,” Batts said. “Nothing that I saw on that video is defensible, nor should it be defensible. And most importantly, it’s unacceptable and will not be tolerated within this organization.”
Police brutality recently has been highlighted in news headlines since the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. The jury has until Jan. 7 to determine whether or not Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson should be indicted on criminal charges in Brown’s death. Wilson, who has been on paid administrative leave since the incident in the St. Louis suburb, appeared in public for the first time in more than a month on Tuesday to testify before the grand jury. Protests and violence broke out in Ferguson following Brown’s death, and the community continues to demand justice.
In Kansas City, Missouri, the FBI is investigating the case of a police tasing that put another cop’s son in critical condition and a medically induced coma. Officer Tim Runnels pulled over a vehicle that 17-year-old Bryce Masters was driving after the officer ran the car’s tags and discovered a warrant linked to a female driver, msnbc previously reported. Police said Masters “physically resisted” officers’ demands to step out of the car and that at some point Runnels used his stun gun to restrain the teen.
A New York Police Department officer was also suspended this week after video footage surfaced of him apparently kicking a man on the ground at a street fair in Brooklyn.