A federal prosecutor in the criminal trial of two Pomona police officers charged in a violent encounter with a teenager told jurors Tuesday that a video showing cops pummeling the teen would prove the officers’ guilt, while defense attorneys countered the same footage would help to vindicate the men.
The dueling claims over the video a bystander captured on his cellphone came during opening statements in the trial. Cpl. Chad Jensen, a 21-year veteran of the Pomona department, faces charges he used excessive force against then-16-year-old Christian Aguilar during the incident at the Los Angeles County Fair three years ago.
Jensen and Officer Prince Hutchinson, his partner on the night of the encounter, are also accused of lying in reports and court testimony to cover up the two blows Jensen dealt to the teen’s face. A separate trial for a third officer, who faces charges stemming from how he conducted the department’s internal investigation into the incident, is scheduled for next month.
Assistant U.S. Atty. Frances Lewis seized quickly on the video, saying Jensen “snapped” when he saw Aguilar using his phone to record Pomona officers who had arrested his father and cousin for public intoxication.
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