Society
Society

Baltimore Police Officer Caught on Video Punching Man

| by Michael Allen

A video showing Baltimore Police Officer Vincent Cosom repeatedly punching Kollin Truss has recently surfaced and led to a $5 million lawsuit.

A surveillance video (below) begins with a verbal exchange between Truss and Officer Cosom outside a liquor store on June 15.

Officer Cosom claimed in his police report that Truss was loitering outside the liquor store at 1:40 a.m., was drunk and yelled an obscenity at him, reports WJLA.

Truss and his then-girlfriend Stephanie Coleman walked away from Officer Cosom and another cop who followed them to a bus stop across the street.

Officer Cosom claimed in his report, "At this time I went to place the male under arrest. He got into a fighting stance and clenched his fist. Me and the male got into a physical altercation due to me being in fear of my safety and I received a punch to the body."

However, The Baltimore Sun notes the video showed: "Truss had a bag in one hand and Coleman was holding his other arm as they paused near a bus stop. Cosom stepped around a group of bystanders before launching a blow that connected with Truss' upper body, sending him reeling backward."

Officer Cosom continues to punch Truss until Coleman puts her body between Truss and Officer Cosom. The two police officers then arrest Truss and charge him with assault and resisting arrest.

The Baltimore Police Department issued a statement on Monday: “The Internal Affairs Division is conducting a thorough investigation and is asking that anyone with any information or evidence pertaining to this incident to come forward…”

The charges against Truss have been dropped, but Officer Cosom is still on duty. Truss has now filed a lawsuit against Officer Cosom for assault, battery and false arrest.

"This attack was completely unprovoked and served no legitimate law enforcement purpose," Truss' attorneys stated in a complaint (first step in a lawsuit) that was filed in a Baltimore Circuit Court.

Baltimore police spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Connolly said in a statement, "We are aware of the allegations that have been made. The Internal Affairs Division is conducting a thorough investigation and is asking that anyone with any information or evidence pertaining to this incident come forward."

According to Truss' lawsuit, a local jail refused to admit him until he had medical care, which the police officers had not provided. It was only after the jail turned Truss away did the officers finally take him to a local hospital, says the lawsuit.

The Baltimore City Police department, which has been in operation since 1880, now says it's going redo its procedures for investigating use of force incidents by police officers.

Sources: WJLA, The Baltimore Sun