WBOC: Attorney Searching for Answers in Excessive Force Case
- March 2, 2017
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Originally Published in WBOC
SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury attorney representing the teenager claiming excessive force was used against him by a Salisbury police officer says he is still waiting for answers about missing dash camera video and is taking action.
Luke Rommel is representing 15-year-old Renaldo Mesadieu who claims office Justin Aita used excessive force against him during an incident in August. The incident in question should have been caught on the officer’s dash board camera but the city of Salisbury said the camera malfunctioned. Rommel is taking steps to ensure the video is recovered.
“I have filed a motion to compel the production of the electronic device that we are trying to recover and the goal is that we can do an independent investigation, forensically, to determine what’s the problem with this video,” said Rommel.
City officials said Panasonic has come to Salisbury to try and determine if the video is able to be recovered. WBOC spoke with Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello who said at this point, it appears the video may be lost and that Panasonic has launched a full investigation into the camera. They are trying to determine what caused the camera to malfunction and how long it has not been operating correctly. Maciarello added videos prior to the incident in question may also be lost. The altercation between the officer and teenage is simply not the only piece of video missing.
Rommel added the case could proceed without the video, but he would certainly prefer to have it in court.
“We remain confident in our case, we just think the video again, is the perhaps the best opportunity to tell the true story,” Rommel said.
Rommel also included that he has reached out to the U.S. Department of Justice to see if the federal agency had any interest in coming to Salisbury to oversee some of the proceedings taking place. Rommel also represents three Salisbury University students who also claim excessive force was used against than by the same Salisbury police officer.