It seems as though everyone has a cellphone these days. Many of those cellphones have cameras that people can use to record anything they see. This is having an impact on criminal justice cases because those cellphone videos can be used as evidence if a person happens to catch a crime on video. That is what happened in the case of a Federal Bureau of Investigation's agent who was recently convicted of assault.
The incident occurred because of a child custody dispute during the drop off of a child. The situation was quickly deteriorating and the FBI agent took action.
The video that was presented in this assault case was shown to jurors repeatedly. It showed the off-duty FBI agent hit a teenager in the chest outside of a high-rise apartment. The teen fell to the ground, but got up. The off-duty agent then tried to place the teen under arrest.
The video from the cellphone included audio that recorded the man telling the teen that he would shoot him if necessary. The video was one of the key pieces of evidence in the case.
The jury acquitted the FBI agent on a gun charge and a first-degree assault charge. They found him guilty of second-degree assault. This leads to the conclusion that the jury found that he acted appropriately when he was wrestling the teen and when he used his firearm. The issue was the hit to the chest.
The man is still an active FBI agent, but the incident is under an internal investigation. He will be sentenced in January and his attorney plans on trying to work something out so the man can remain on duty.
It is vital that anyone who is facing assault charges or gun charges understand the evidence against him or her. Reviewing the evidence and determining how to defend against it is a vital component of any defense.
Source: The Washington Post, "FBI agent guilty of assault in an incident caught on cellphone video," Dan Morse, Nov. 03, 2015