Another Ferguson cop reportedly used excessive force against a teen suspect. Officer Justin Cosma is accused of binding the hands and feet of a 12-year-old boy — in his own driveway. A federal lawsuit, filed in 2012, claims the teen was retrieving the mail when he was accosted by Cosma and a former colleague.
The incident reportedly occurred in 2010, while Cosma was employed with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. According to the lawsuit, the officers originally entered the property to question the teen about “playing on a nearby highway.”
As reported by the Huffington Post, the questioning eventually “became confrontational.” Cosma and a colleague then “grabbed [the boy], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground.”
The civil rights lawsuit further alleges Justin Cosma “hog-tied” the teen as a form of restraint. As a result, the teen “suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes, and cuts across his body.”
In their official report, the deputies stated that the teen resisted arrest and assaulted a law enforcement officer. However, the teen was never charged criminally as Jefferson County prosecutors “refused” to pursue the charges.
Although the federal lawsuit is still pending, Justin Cosma was later hired by the Ferguson Police Department.
The town of Ferguson, Missouri, gained national attention following the shooting death of Michael Brown Jr. On August 9, 2014, the black teen was shot a total of six times by a white Ferguson cop.
According to Officer Darren Wilson, Brown assaulted him, attempted to steal his gun, and then proceeded to flee the scene. Following the exchange, Wilson fired numerous shots at the suspect. An autopsy revealed the teen was fatally wounded by at least one of the bullets.
The incident sparked chaos, as witnesses said Brown was attempting to surrender when he was shot. The specific details of the incident, and Brown’s death remain a topic of heated controversy. As the victim was black, and the officer was white, many have compared Brown to Trayvon Martin.
Justin Cosma and Darren Wilson are not the only Ferguson cops accused of using excessive force against a young suspect.
As reported by News Max, Officer Eddie Boyd III is accused of striking a total of four children while on duty with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Although he was eventually demoted, Boyd remained with the police department until he was hired by the Ferguson Police Department in 2010.
As numerous Ferguson cops have faced allegations of excessive force, the city will likely remain in the national spotlight.
[Image via The Root]