TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—WJZ has learned there are more videos showing a chaotic police encounter with a teenager in Towson last weekend.
WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren has more on what the teen’s lawyer is saying now.
An internal investigation is underway after more videos detail an officer’s use of force while arresting 19-year-old Zachary Blumenstein in Towson. One of the officers involved has been put on administrative duties while the investigation is being conducted.
“We currently have a very involved dynamic investigation,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson.
Chief Johnson isn’t answering questions, but his spokeswoman issued a statement on his behalf that the officer was moved “given the controversy over the video and the fact that a review is underway, he feels this is best for everyone, including the officer.”
There are two videos–one showing Blumenstein on the ground–an officer punching him and another, first obtained by WJZ, again showing an officer punching the teen.
Police say Blumenstein was “strenuously” resisting arrest.
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Blumenstein’s lawyer says at least four other videos have surfaced showing the encounter. He said they were significant to the case, but declined to describe them.
What we don’t know is what exactly happened in the half hour before the teen’s arrest. Those who know Blumenstein say it’s out of character.
“He’s always very polite to us, and I’m just shocked to hear what happened,” said the teen’s neighbor.
As more and more people record their encounters with police, more departments are equipping officers with their own body cameras–Baltimore County will start a pilot program next year–Baltimore City police just wrapped up a body camera trial.
“A lot of police misconduct cases start with an interaction that goes south too quickly,” said Baltimore City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. “Video tells no lies, and I think that makes us all better. I think the cameras just hold us all accountable.”
As for the encounter in Towson, Blumenstein facing five separate charges, including resisting arrest.
He is scheduled to appear in court in March.