Cop Caught on Tape Beating, Tasing Man -- Gets Off

A Peoria, Illinois, police officer who was videotaped beating and tasing a man after a traffic stop two years ago has been acquitted of his charges.

Officer Andrew Smith was one of three officers who can be seen on a dashboard video tape punching, kicking and using a stun gun on Bryce Scott after the officers pulled him over in May 2008. Smith's legal team argued that the use of force was justified because Scott was resisting arrest and refused to be handcuffed. They also brought up Scott's past as a convicted drug dealer, although the officers did not know those details the night of the beating.

Scott, who has been on unpaid leave since being arrested in March 2009, was found not guilty of misconduct, aggravated battery, mob action and battery. He will be taken off unpaid leave and may be back on the street soon.

Despite requests to drop charges against the other two officers, State’s Attorney Kevin Lyons said the details of their cases willbe reviewed.

These charges were brought because it’s important even for police to know that unprovoked beatings without cause will subject everyone to the criminal justice system whether or not the victim is a drug dealer or a nameless teenager on his way home.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at November 5, 2010, 5:10am

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