BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A viral video of an alleged attack on a Baltimore Police sergeant in January is coming into question.

Attorneys for the two men charged with assaulting the officer say new video tells a different story about what happened that night.

The attorneys for the accused say new video released contradicts what was written in the original police report.

They’re now calling on prosecutors to drop the charges against their clients and for a public apology.

In January, video of what appears to be people kicking a Baltimore Police sergeant along Pennsylvania Avenue in west Baltimore surfaced, drawing swift criticism from Gov. Larry Hogan and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.

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“It talks about the lawlessness, and it talks about the brazenness of the criminal offender who have no respect for the law, and no respect for authority,” Harrison said in January.

Days later, 23-year-old Zayne Abdullah and 20-year-old Donnell Burgess were arrested, along with a 17-year-old boy.

But attorneys for the men accused say new police body camera footage and cell phone video they’ve obtained shows a very different side to this story.

Attorneys say that Sergeant Simpson “instigated,”  “provoked” and “escalated the situation.”

“Spit in my face and pushed me, and I pushed him back, and the fight was on.” That’s how Simpson described the altercation.

But in the new video, you can hear the sergeant say “Go ahead, I’ve got enough for everybody.” Then, it appears to show Simpson pushing Abdullah.

A bystander video then captures what happened moments later.

Simpson and Abdullah are struggling on the ground, while Abdullah cries out, “I can’t breath.”

During this time, Burgess’ attorney says her client was trying to pull his friend away from the sergeant.

Attorneys for both Abdullah and Burgess say the State’s Attorney’s Office needs to dismiss the case and both men deserve an apology.

WJZ has reached out to the State’s Attorney’s Office, but have yet to hear back.

WJZ has also reached out to Baltimore Police. They tell us they’ve received this new video and that it’s been handed over to its Public Integrity Bureau for further review.

Rachel Menitoff

Comments (5)
  1. 66 says:

    If people are kicking a cop because he is restraining someone screaming “I CAN’T BREATHE!” and has them held in a manner where that is possible then I think they are justified, the same as if a huge citizen were holding a cop screaming the s’he could not breathe. That was a very large heavy& probably strong cop.

    Police need to keep civil tongues (i.e. not ask for trouble), keep their hands off people (pushing, poking, shoving, taunting), & making inappropriate threats and be property trained how to restrain someone w/o killing them.

    I am not anti cop, but there are cops who go too far, Yeah, some people act like idiots or may be under the influence of something, but a cop needs to keep a civil tongue and cool head to not escalate the situation even more. They need to ignore the verbal stuff and just do their jobs. If you can’t deal w/ some people mouthing off, there are a lot of jobs you just should not have

    The cop in that video did not act properly. Some people have no respect for the law, very true, but the police need to respect them and not try to kill them for it or provoke them- you don’t poke at a hornets nest.. Courts dole out the punishments not the police.

    1. King Julian says:

      I am not anti cop, but there are cops who go too far, same can be said of catholic priests

  2. Bill Smiths says:

    In my opinion it’s nothing more then a scam to try and get these hood rats off the hook. But Mosby will no doubt go for it and two criminals will go free to reek more havoc in our community. Mosby has done so much damage to our community with her policies there’s really no way to measure the extent.

  3. Steve Kasian says:

    They should have killed or messed that cop up real bad, & taught him a lesson. Lying, corrupt P.O.S.

  4. Ben Wenton says:


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