It has becoming disturbingly common to hear about police officers attacking unarmed men for no clear reason. This week, another shocking story of police brutality has come from Philadelphia. In May 2013, two Philly police officers chased a man in their squad car until he wrecked his scooter, then proceeded to exit their vehicle and severely beat him. After the incident, the cops falsely reported that the man on the scooter had attacked them — and they charged him with assault for it. Security footage of the vicious brutality only recently surfaced, proving everything the Philly cops claimed to be untrue.
According to 6 ABC, Philly Officers Kevin Robinson and Sean McKnight have now been held accountable for their actions, beating 23-year-old Najee Rivera until he was bruised and bloody, only then to take him into custody for a crime he didn’t commit. The officers have been charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, criminal conspiracy, recklessly endangering another person, tampering with public records or information, false reports to law enforcement authorities, obstructing administration of law, and official oppression.
The crime took place at 10 p.m. on May 29, 2013. The officers, Robinson and McKnight, pulled Rivera over on his motor scooter. This scared Rivera into fleeing from the officers, but he didn’t get far before he crashed his scooter. At this point, the Philly officers claim that Rivera resisted arrest and tried to grab one of their batons. This was the story that the public believed until surveillance footage from a nearby store emerged.
In the video above, the Philly officers can be seen beating Najee Rivera brutally on the sidewalk until he is virtually motionless. Rivera’s girlfriend had been desperately searching for the footage to prove her boyfriend’s innocence. Thanks to the footage, the officers have been charged instead of Rivera, according to Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.
“The video undermined every aspect of the officers’ account of the incident,” Williams said.
“A grand jury found none of it was true except for the blows inflicted on Najee Rivera… He never resisted. He never struck them. He never fought back. They just started hitting him.”
So how did the Philly police officers get away with the brutality? According to Opposing Views, the police department didn’t properly search the area after the crime took place. The force also failed to recover the security footage and erroneously allowed Najee Rivera to be charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault.
“It is painful, it is embarrassing, it does bring a lot of issues that you see across the country,” said Philly police Commissioner Ramsey.
“But sometimes in order to get healed, you have to withstand a little bit of pain.”