BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the first eight months after reportedly kicking a suspect, a Baltimore County Police officer answers to a jury. He faces charges of excessive force against an accused car thief.
A video has been released of the officer kicking the suspect and soon it will be up to a jury to decide if the force he used was too much.
Dramatic chopper video released on day one of the trial shows the January arrest that itself became an alleged criminal case centered on 29-year-old Christopher Spivey.
The Baltimore County Police officer is accused of kicking and spitting on a suspect.
The scene was caught on camera by a Baltimore City police helicopter, which captured the alleged use of excessive force on video, as it circled over the scene as backup.
The next day, City Police alerted County Police to Spivey’s on-camera kicking.
It wasn’t until Tuesday, that the video stayed sealed from the public. Now, played in court, it shows Spivey knee once and then twice kick the 20-year-old Diamonte Farrar.
Farrar stole a car from the Wegman’s parking lot off Reisterstown Road and later that day, led police on a high-speed chase, driving into traffic, before he crashed and ran from officers. Prosecutors say he hit the ground and surrendered.
The defense says he reached into his waistband, hid his hands and then fought against being handcuffed. Farrar did come to testify Tuesday.
But now as a prisoner convicted of the January car theft, he told jurors he knew he resisted arrest when he ran and that Officer Spivey did not intentionally spit on him.
The defense argues police were in a dangerous situation and took only appropriate measures. Prosecutors say Officer Spivey went too far. It will soon go to a jury to decide which story sticks.
On Tuesday afternoon, Baltimore City Police officer Edward Nero was called as the first witness. Nero is also a defendant in the Freddie Gray case. He has since been assigned to the aviation unit and recorded the video in this case from the City Police chopper, and alerted his bosses to a potential police misconduct.
Arguments could end and the case go to a jury as early as Wednesday.