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.READ MORE: Job Fair Aims To Help Candidates Find Path Out Of COVID-19 Pandemic
In a press conference held Tuesday, the attorneys said the new video proves their clients are innocent.
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.”READ MORE: 83-Year-Old Man John Lomax Jr. Killed In Reisterstown Crash
“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 breathe.”
“Mr. Abdullah was not resisting arrest,” his attorney, Natalie Finegar, said. “Mr. Abdullah was trying to be able to breathe.”
During this time, Burgess’ attorney said her client was trying to pull his friend away from the sergeant.
WJZ has also reached out to the Baltimore Police Department, which said it has received this new video and that it’s been handed over to its Public Integrity Bureau for further review.MORE NEWS: Murder Of Pregnant Woman Rabiah Ahmad, Daughter Ahja Still Unsolved One Year Later
“The police department cannot police themselves,” Finegar said.