Dash-Cam Video Clears NJ Man in Violent Traffic Stop

Driver who faced long prison sentence is now cleared, and police are charged.

ByABC News
February 25, 2014, 7:07 AM

Feb. 25, 2014— -- Marcus Jeter faced a years-long prison sentence.

The New Jersey DJ, 30, was arrested in a 2012 traffic stop and charged with eluding police, resisting arrest and assault. Prosecutors insisted that Jeter do prison time.

"The first plea was five years," Jeter said.

But after Jeter's attorney, Steven Brown, filed a request for records, all of the charges against him were dropped, with dash-cam video apparently showing what really happened June 7, 2012. Now, the officers are facing charges.

The video, which prosecutors say they never saw before filing the initial charges, shows Jeter holding his hands above his head.

"The next thing I know, one of them busts the [car] door and there is glass all over my face," he told ABC News station WABC-TV about the arrest.

"As soon as they opened the door, one officer reached in and punched me in my face. As he's trying to take off my seat belt, I'm thinking, 'Something is going to go wrong.'"

Jeter says the cops continued hitting him, telling him not to resist arrest.

"And when they open the [police cruiser] door, about to put me in, the officer hits me in the back of the head again," Jeter said.

The incident began when police responded to a domestic violence call at the Bloomfield home Jeter shares with his girlfriend. No charges were filed, and Jeter says he left after briefly talking to officers.

Police followed, trailing him along the Garden State Parkway. Dash-cam video shows Jeter pulling over and stopping on the highway shoulder.

The two officers pulled out guns.

Jeter didn't get out of the car. He was afraid.

"There was a cop on my left with a gun pointed at me, a cop on the other side with a shotgun," he said.

The video that was not initially turned over -- from the dashboard of a second police cruiser -- shows a third officer coming from the opposite direction, crossing the median and striking Jeter's car. That incident was not mentioned in any police reports related to the arrest.

As soon as prosecutors saw the second video, they dismissed all of the charges against Jeter.

A grand jury has since indicted two Bloomfield police officers -- Orlando Trinidad and Sean Courter -- on various charges, including conspiracy and official misconduct.

Trinidad was also charged with aggravated assault. Both officers have pleaded not guilty.

The third officer pleaded guilty to tampering.