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Police victimize brain injury victim all over again

The New Jersey State Police and Attorney General's office have egg on their faces, metaphorically speaking. They announced in June that a state trooper had used unreasonable force when he beat a mentally disabled man during a traffic stop. However, they forgot to add that they had earlier found that the trooper had done nothing wrong, even though video recorded him throwing the man to the ground and punching him in the face.

The internal investigation dragged on for three years until a newspaper began investigating. The attorney for the young man described the investigation as a "whitewash" that changed only when the media began looking into the incident.

The incident occurred when police looking for a burglary suspect pulled the car over and, after frisking the young man, threw him to the ground. The trooper said that the young man was belligerent and drunk and tried to resist arrest to attempting to head-butt the trooper.

An eyewitness to the incident swore in a court deposition that she had seen the entire incident and that the young man had done nothing to provoke the attack. However, the state agencies investigating the incident did not refer to the testimony.

The young man has severe traumatic brain injury as a result of a near-fatal car accident in 2005. The trooper said he was unaware of the young man's condition and believed he was drunk because of his unsteadiness and slurred speech.

Police assertions about the incident have been contradicted by the video and by the witness's deposition. The state now refuses to defend the trooper against the civil lawsuit filed by the young man, reversing its earlier positions.

Source, NJ.com, "State authorities initially cleared N.J. trooper accused in beating," Nov, 18, 2012.

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