February 13, 2018
After the release of a video from a bystander, a veteran officer was charged in October 2017 with attacking a teen male by federal authorities. He and two others have also been accused of lying about the incident to protect the 20-year officer. All three pled not guilty and were then released on bonds of $50,000.
The lawyer for the veteran officer explained that the video did not tell the complete story of events surrounding the incident, and he believes that his client will be cleared. Personnel for the Pomona Police Department did not comment on the incident.
The victim, who is a minor but who has spoken freely about the incident, attended the LA County Fair in Pomona. His cousin exchanged words with the three men, and the victim’s dad tried to deescalate the situation. Officers took both men into custody for public intoxication. The victim, Christian Aguilar, followed as he recorded the incident. He was told to stop following them but ignored those instructions.
The video shows the officer grabbing Aguilar and shoving him and the officer then hitting him in the face. Aguilar did not defend himself. Another officer struck the boy in the knees with his baton. He was then arrested and charged with obstructing a police officer. The bystander who recorded the incident was also arrested. He was later released without additional charges. However, the police downloaded the video in question.
The prosecution also claims that the police version of the video differs from the bystander’s original recording and that the video was edited so that the officers could claim that they used justified force.
Federal prosecutors lied about the incident in their written reports and in court. One of the officers also faces charges of using excessive force. Another officer was charged with lying to FBI agents. The officers’ reports have similar stories, claiming that the teen yelled at the crowd and tried to punch one of the officers. Maximum penalties for all three men could be up to 50 years in prison.
In 2016, Aguilar received $500,000 in civil settlement from the city of Pomona over the beating.
Police brutality cases have made headlines across the nation in recent months. If you have suffered at the hands of law enforcement officers, our legal team can provide the counsel you need.