A man was wrongfully detained and held in captivity for about 15 months as a direct result of an officer lying. The man was later cleared of any wrongdoing after dash cam video was released proving the officer’s statement to be outright false.
The events occurred back in December of 2009 where officers were out looking to break up two white men in a physical altercation. On his way to the scene, Officer Matthew Antkowiak stumbled across 62-year-old, Ronald Jones who was subsequently, a black man.
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According to the report later filed by Antkowiak, he had noticed Jones throwing beer cans on the ground. As he pulled over to arrest him for littering, the officer began to place Jones in cuffs when he turned around and began choking him.
At this time, Antkowiak claimed that he wrestled Jones to the ground, while still being choked, where he also noted that Jones had kicked him in the crotch. The officer was only able to subdue the man after other officers arrived for backup and were able to collectively place him in cuffs.
Jones was then arrested and spent the next 15 months in prison claiming that the events of that night did not go according to the officer’s testimony. After some time, Jones’ attorney was able to obtain dash cam footage of that night painting quite the different picture.
As seen on the video, Antkowiak turned Jones around to cuff him, but very aggressively pulled his arm up. As Jones turned around to ask what the officer was doing, Antkowiak slammed Jones on the hood and began choking him – quite the opposite of what the officer initially described.
Antkowiak was then seen slamming Jones on the ground while delivering a few blows before fellow officers arrived and joined in the fight. As the hoard of men wrestled with the elderly victim, an officer was even seen kicking Jones several times.
Upon the prosecution viewing the tape, just one day before Jones’ trial was set to take place, they dropped all charges. After an investigation, Antkowiak was terminated and the other officers were cleared of any wrongdoing – probably on account of Antkowiak lying to them as well.
Jones’ attorney relayed to reporters, “Had the videos not surfaced, it’s likely that Mr. Jones would have been convicted of this and served a very long prison sentence. He spent 15 months in jail for something he clearly didn’t do. I doubt money would make up for that.”
For those 15 agonizing months, Jones received a $1.1 million payout as agreed upon in a settlement.
Does police brutality and corruption seem to be on the rise lately, or are we just learning about it more often on account of video and the internet? Let us know what you thought of this by leaving a comment below.