Video: 2 New Jersey officers accused of unprovoked assault on 19-year-old

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Monday, February 15, 2021
2 officers accused of unprovoked assault on 19-year-old
(Previous coverage) Michelle Charlesworth has more on a police incident in Paterson that's under investigation

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Two police officers in New Jersey are under investigation for the alleged assault of a 19-year-old man back in December.

Officials said Monday that the public integrity and accountability office of the New Jersey attorney general's office will be investigating along with Passaic County prosecutors.

The assault was caught on a store's security camera on Dec. 14.

Osamah Alsaidi , the then-19-year-old man, can be seen walking down the street with his hands in his pockets when police pull up. He said they punched him seven or eight times, body slammed him and kept punching him.

Alsaidi said he had bruises on both sides of his face and pain in his jaw as well as trouble chewing and migraines.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says the attack was unprovoked and the man was diagnosed with head trauma and a concussion.

Alsaidi said he was on his way to the corner store before work when the incident unfolded.

"Usually if you are attacked like that, you expect the officers to come and help you," he said.

CAIR says the officers then allegedly covered up the assault until the video surfaced almost two months later.

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One of the officers wrote in his police report that they were investigating reports of a suspicious person in the area when the man approached "screaming profanities and acting belligerent causing a disturbance" and he assaulted one of them. He was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Alsaidi said another officer even punched him when he explained who had hurt him in the first place when he was taken to the hospital.

The now-20-year-old makes deliveries for Amazon and is also a full-time student studying criminal justice. He made a formal complaint with internal affairs two days after the incident and is suing Paterson police.

He said he wants reform.

"I want to hold them to be held accountable," Alsaidi said.

CAIR is now calling for the two officers to be fired.

Some of Paterson's police officers recently began wearing body cameras but officials said the officers involved weren't wearing them.

Alsaidi's attorney, Diego Navas, said he believes that's part of the problem and the incident wouldn't have happened if they were wearing cameras.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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