TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Two Trenton police officers are now in trouble with the law. They are accused of assaulting a man during a traffic stop in 2017.
Attorney Robin Lord is seeing her client Chanzie Washington’s claims of police brutality vindicated. Two Trenton officers involved in arresting Washington after a foot chase in April of 2017 are now facing federal charges.
Body cam video acquired by The Trentonian shows an officer, seemingly unprovoked, punch Washington in the head and tackle Washington to the ground, where he was punched even more.
“It’s a question of respect. The city of Trenton police officers, the majority of them, do not have any respect for the citizens, they just absolutely do not,” Lord said.
Former officer Anthony Villanueva and current officer Drew Inman appeared in federal court Tuesday afternoon. They are charged with violating Washington’s civil rights and falsifying police reports to characterize him as the aggressor.
Inman was arrested at the Trenton Police Station Tuesday morning and is now suspended. Villanueva was fired last year and faces a separate federal charge for allegedly pepper spraying a man in a police holding cell.
“It’s perfectly proper the way he handled himself,” Villanueva’s attorney, Jerome Ballarotto, said.
Ballarotto plans to hire a police expert to testify that the officer’s physicality was within the law.
“In this situation, he did not elect to draw his weapon, it stayed in the holster and he brought the guy down to the ground and handcuffed him,” Ballarotto said.
Both Inman and Villanueva were granted unsecured bail on Tuesday, meaning they can go home. But they will be back in court Wednesday morning where both men are expected to plead not guilty and go to trial later this year.