As the horrifying video shows, two cops begin kicking and stomping a man lying motionless on the ground, and when a third officer arrives on the scene he doesn’t stop them — he joins right in.
That third man, Bridgeport, Connecticut, police officer Clive Higgins, was charged Friday with violating a man’s civil rights by using unreasonable force, the New Haven Register reported.
The incident occurred three years ago, but the evidence was preserved on video — and it’s pretty jarring.
The victim said in his lawsuit that he was motionless on the ground and not resisting when the officers kicked and stomped him.
As the New Haven Register reported:
Prosecutors say that after another officer deployed his stun gun, Higgins approached [Orlando Lopez-Soto], who was lying prone on the ground, and kicked him in the head and neck.
Higgins, a Bridgeport police officer since 2002, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
The other two officers, Elson Morales and Joseph Lawlor, pleaded guilty in June to deprivation of rights under color of law. Morales and Lawlor agreed to resign from the police department and each face up to a year in prison when they are sentenced Sept. 2.
Prosecutors said Morales used his stun gun a second time after Lopez-Soto was effectively incapacitated and Lawlor kicked him several times.
The city recently settled the case by agreeing to pay $198,000 to Lopez-Soto.
In the video, posted from to YouTube by an unknown witness, Higgins can be seen rushing from his car to the prostrate suspect and landing a solid kick.
(Content warning: violence, rough language)
Why did it take so long for the officers to be brought to justice?
The chase and beating occurred in 2011, but the video did not gain the attention of authorities until last year.
From the New Haven Register:
All three officers seen in the video, which surfaced in 2013, were placed on paid administrative duty pending a police internal affairs investigation. NAACP leaders at the time called on police officials to arrest and fire the officers.
Lopez-Soto pleaded guilty to drug and gun charges in July 2012 and was sentenced to five years in prison.
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