Video of arrest presents a challenge in criminal defense

These days, nearly every move that law enforcement officers make is captured on film. Derry residents might be aware of the footage of an arrest of a driver in which two of the troopers involved, one from New Hampshire, are seen punching and kicking the suspect. This video could present a challenge to their criminal defense teams.

The driver led law enforcement officials in a pursuit that covered approximately 50 miles and two states. At times, the pickup truck was traveling upwards of 100 mph. When the pickup finally came to a stop in residential neighborhood, officers descended on the vehicle and its driver.

On the video, the driver appears to be complying with police instructions and surrendering. Then, upwards of eight police officers are attempting to handcuff the driver. A trooper with the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) and the one with the New Hampshire State Police (NHSP) appear to be punching and kicking the man.

The NHSP trooper faces three counts of simple assault, and the MSP trooper faces two counts of the same crime. Simple assault is a misdemeanor here in New Hampshire. However, because the troopers were on duty at the time of the alleged assaults, they face an additional maximum of five years in prison that could be added to the maximum one year jail sentence.

The troopers are facing more than a loss of their freedom since they could also face disciplinary actions from their departments that could include the termination of their employment. For now, each of them is on suspension. Despite the video footage, these two men are still entitled to be considered innocent until and unless proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Furthermore, just as would be the case for any Derry resident, they are entitled to criminal defense counsel.

Source: CBS News, “Troopers charged in beating caught on news helicopter video“, July 20, 2016