Marcus Jeter, 30, has been cleared of all charges against him after a dashcam video from the police officers' vehicle surfaced.
It all began when police were called to Jeter’s home in Bloomfield, New Jersey. After a brief conversation, Jeter left his residence as no charges were filed.
Jeter was driving down the Garden State Highway when everything suddenly changed.
Police cars flashed their lights at his vehicle, and when Jeter pulled over they emerged from the vehicle with weapons drawn, reports Mod Vive.
Jeter did not immediately get out of the vehicle, but did put his hands up as instructed.
In an interview with ABC’s Sarah Wallace, Jeter describes what happened:
Sarah: Why didn't you get out of the car?"
Jeter: "Because I was afraid. There was a cop on my right with a gun, a cop on the other side with a shotgun. I'm afraid I might get shot."
Officers then used force against Jeter.
"As soon as they opened the door, one officer reached in an punched me in my face,“ Jeter said to Wallace. “As he's trying to take off my seatbelt, I'm thinking something is going to go wrong."
The dashcam tape was not initially turned over to Jeter’s attorney by Bloomfield police. Only after a request for records was filed did the tape surface.
Prosecutors wanted Jeter to do prison time.
"The first plea was 5 years," said Jeter.
Prosecutors claim they never saw the video before pursuing criminal charges against Jeter.
The video shows Jeter pulling over for police, and placing his hands in the air. It does not show him trying to elude them, resisting arrest, or assaulting a police officer—all charges he was being accused of.
The video does show a police officer throwing repeated punches.
"All I keep saying is I'm not doing anything," Jeter adds. "They handcuffed me and one of them hits me in the back."
Once the video was seen by prosecutors all charges were dismissed against Jeter.
Two of the police officers have been indicted on charges of falsifying evidence. One of them also for assault. A third officer pleaded guilty to tampering evidence.
"I believe the blame is with the Bloomfield police department for not providing that tape. If we hadn't had the tapes in this case, an innocent man would be in jail today,” said Steven Brown, Jeter’s attorney.
When asked by Wallace where he would be if the tape hadn’t surfaced, Jeter replied, “I’d be in jail.”