BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Disgusting and unacceptable. That’s what Baltimore City’s top cop is calling the violent actions of one of his police officers after video is made public of a brutal beat down.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on what police are saying and why the officer involved is just now being suspended months after a review by the states attorney’s office.
Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts says someone in middle management dropped the ball in handling this incident, and now he says he wants body cameras on all officers.
The few seconds of surveillance video could cost the Baltimore City Police Department millions.
“Much like the public, I was shocked, outraged and disgusted by what I saw by an employee of the Baltimore City Police Department,” Batts said.
The video shows 32-year-old Kollin Truss and Officer Vincent Cosom in a physical altercation, after Truss’ attorneys say the two exchanged words outside of a store on Greenmount and North avenues.
According to a probable cause statement, Cosom told Truss to stop loitering in front of a liquor store and then Truss told him “f–ck you. I will see you when I get outside.”
Once outside, things escalated. A woman is seen pulling Truss away, but she was also pushed by the officer.
The officer goes on to say that once Truss and the woman crossed the street, they started arguing. He says Truss pushed the woman three times, but the video released by Baltimore City police doesn’t show that happening.
“What you have here is an officer who was very mad because he felt a citizen disrespected him because he didn’t move fast enough for the officer,” said Ivan Bates, victim’s attorney.
Cosom is now suspended nearly three months after the video and criminal case was sent to the states attorney’s office. So why did it take so long for the department to act?
“This system had a break down and the middle manager failed to do what should have been done. He should have been pulled out immediately,” Batts said.
One man tells WJZ all the appeals for better relationships between citizens and cops fall on deaf ears.
“It’s just crazy, and I don’t think communities would want to associate with police officers due to those type of actions,” said Rodney Page, resident.
Truss has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit, $35 million to be exact. Misdemeanor charges against him were dropped after he spent three days in jail.
Councilman Carl Stokes agrees with the city’s top cop it’s time for body cameras.
“I’m disturbed also that this officer apparently wrote a dishonest report justifying his actions when the video shows us something very different,” Stokes said.
Other officers at the scene could face disciplinary action.
The officer has been with the police department for six years.