Police video clears man - My9 New Jersey

Police video clears man

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Marcus Jeter Marcus Jeter
Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

Marcus Jeter was facing 5 years in prison for eluding police, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer until shocking video of Bloomfield police dragging him from his car and beating him surfaced, clearing him of all charges.

Now officers Orlando Trinidad and Sean Courter are facing charges of conspiracy and official misconduct. Trinidad is also being charged with aggravated assault. Both claim they’re innocent. Their lawyers say they acted in self-defense after Jeter allegedly reached for officer Courter’s gun.

Jeter says that’s not how it happened. I sat down with him to go in-depth on what he says the officers did and why he believes they did it.

“I do believe they wanted to make an example out of me, as a young black man, they thought they could get away with something and they tried," Jeter says. "And without that one tape, I’m in jail right now."

It all started when police responded to a domestic dispute call at Jeter’s girlfriend's house. Jeter says the fight wasn’t physical and that Officer Sean Courter questioned him and then watched as he drove away. Minutes later, he says Courter pulled him over on the Garden State Parkway and approached him with a gun in hand.

“The first thing he did was pull a gun out and say, 'get the f-out of the car'," Jeter says.

Where did he think that came from?

"I have no idea," Jeter says. "I’d like to say it’s the driving-while-black thing, it’s the racial profiling thing, and that may have a lot to do with it, but I don’t know what lead the to do that, because I didn’t give them any reason to do that.”

While Jeter says he can only suspect that it started as a race issue, he says he has a clear idea of why he was brought up on so many wrongful charges.

“Once they took me in to the police department, I felt like I was wrongly done. I said, 'I’m pressing charges, because you guys beat me up and did all these things you didn’t have to do.' I think that helped them to say, ‘we have to make the case more believable.' That’s why they hit me with the eluding, that’s why the hit me with assaulting an officer," Jeter says. "The tape speaks for itself. If you watch the tape, my hands are clearly up, as the officer is saying “stop trying to take my gun” my hands are up in the air. All these things they added there, if I went to trial, I would have had to eat something, they would have had to charge me with something."

Orlando Trinidad’s attorney, Patrick Toscano, says the idea that race had anything to do with the officer’s actions is "absurd" reminding us that his client, Trinidad, is Hispanic - a minority himself.

Charles Clarke, an attorney for Officer Sean Courter, says Jeter is "completely, 100% lying" and that he suspects Jeter is looking to get a payout in a civil suit against the officers.

Both lawyers insist Jeter appeared drunk the night of his arrest and refused to blow into a breathalyzer.

Jeter says he wasn’t drunk that night was never asked to blow. He also says he hasn’t filed a civil suit and doesn’t know if he ever will. Right now, he says his main concern is seeing that justice is served.

"Because that has happened to me, I have to help others, I have to tell the story, so this won’t happen again," Jeter says.

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