Local Man in Video that Alleged Police Brutality Pleads Guilty
A man seen being arrested by police in a video that alleged police brutality in the Hudson Valley pleaded guilty.
On Monday, 28-year-old Shelton Spence of Port Jervis pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.
When Spence was arrested on May 29, a recording of the incident, which showed City of Port Jervis police officers struggling with Spence, was created by a passing motorist. That recording was then posted on Facebook and other social media platforms, prompting inquiries from the public.
The video which can be seen below appears to show a Port Jervis police officer repeatedly kneeing the suspect while the person was laying on the ground on his stomach. Seconds later, another person, in plainclothes, is also seen hitting the suspect.
Commenters say "excessive force" was used and the actions were "wrong."
The Port Jervis Police Department informed the Orange County District Attorney’s Office of the incident, and the existence of the video, and requested that the District Attorney’s Office investigate the incident.
On June 27, the District Attorney’s Office announced it completed its investigation and based on interviews of two eyewitnesses, and other evidence, it determined that the police officers’ actions were lawful.
At the time that Spence pleaded guilty, he admitted that on April 10, he had possessed cocaine in the City of Port Jervis and that he had intended to sell the cocaine. Spence also confessed admitted that on May 29, as Port Jervis police officers were attempting to lawfully arrest him for other narcotics offenses, he fled from the police officers and struggled with them to resist being arrested and possessed cocaine that he intended to sell.
As part of his plea agreement, the District Attorney’s Office will recommend that he be sentenced to four years in state prison on each of the felony narcotics charges and one year for resisting arrest and that those sentences run concurrently. Also as part of the plea agreement, Spence agreed to forfeit $3,060, which prosecutors alleged was the result of narcotics sales.
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