Captured on surveillance video blatantly assaulting an unarmed teenager, two New Jersey police officers were recently charged with deprivation of civil rights and writing false reports to justify the violent attack.
Around 12:30 a.m. on December 14, 2020, then-19-year-old Osamah Alsaidi was reportedly on his way to his 1 a.m. shift at Amazon when Paterson police officers responded to a call regarding a “suspicious person.” Upon arrival at the scene, Paterson Police Officers Kevin Patino and Kendry Tineo-Restituyo approached two other officers who questioned Alsaidi for several minutes.
After the officers finished interrogating Alsaidi, they returned to their vehicles and allowed the teen to leave. Recorded on surveillance video, Alsaidi could be seen walking down the sidewalk with his hands in his pockets when Patino and Tineo abruptly parked their car in front of him.
According to Patino’s police report, which Tineo also signed, Alsaidi screamed profanities and acted belligerent before approaching the officers “in an aggressive body stance by blading his body and clutching his fist.” In the false police report, Patino and Tineo accused Alsaidi of punching Patino in the chest while omitting the brutal assault that they unleashed upon Alsaidi for no justifiable reason.
But according to the surveillance video, Alsaidi stood calmly with his hands in his pockets as both officers suddenly began punching him in the head and body. Both officers tackled the teenager to the ground while incessantly striking him with fists.
At no point in the video did Alsaidi scream profanities, act belligerent, blade his body, or punch Patino in the chest. As a result of the beating, Alsaidi suffered multiple injuries to his face and head.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that Patino and Tineo have been charged with deprivation of rights under color of law and falsification of records. After surrendering to law enforcement, they were released on $50,000 bonds.
“Police officers who abuse their positions to exert power over and injure the citizens they are supposed to protect violate our Constitution and erode trust in our public institutions,” Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig said in a press release. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working closely with the FBI and our state partners to investigate and prosecute these civil rights violations and restore the public trust.”
“Civil rights violations are one of the FBI’s highest priorities, particularly when the allegations involve members of law enforcement,” stated George Crouch Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Newark Division. “We rely on the police to protect the public. The few who take advantage of this public trust, at any level, will be investigated by the FBI and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The violation of civil rights count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each of the charges is $250,000.