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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Post: Charges Dropped After Video Contradicts Claim That Man Assaulted Prince George's Officers

Video Sinks Case Against Man Held in Police Assault; Charges Dropped; Pr. George's Starts Probe.
Post, 28 Feb 2009 (Castaneda ).
Charges against a man accused of assaulting two Prince George's County police officers during an October traffic stop were dropped yesterday after the defense attorney gave prosecutors a video recording that does not support the arresting officer's allegations.

County police launched an internal investigation into the officers' actions after a reporter who reviewed the video asked about discrepancies between it and the arresting officer's account.

A camera mounted in a police cruiser captured much of the confrontation between the officers -- John Wynkoop and Scott Wilson -- and motorist Rafael A. Rodriguez, although a portion of the confrontation occurred off-camera.

The video does not show Rodriguez, 30, assaulting either officer. The audio captured one of the officers mocking the Latino driver's accent moments before the confrontation.
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The three men again go out of camera range, and Rodriguez is heard repeatedly crying, "Don't kill me!"
* * *
Rodriguez said he was disappointed that his case didn't go to trial. "I'd like the judge to see the videotape to see how I acted and how the officers behaved," Rodriguez said.
[Full report]

(Posted 28 Feb 2009)

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