Investigations

Indicted officer speaks out about dashcam video

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A police officer in New Jersey seen in dashcam video who is now facing charges of assault is speaking out.

The driver of the car has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

"I was completely scared. I didn't know if I was going to go home that night," said Orlando Trinidad, a Bloomfield Police Officer.

Police dashcam video that resulted in criminal charges being filed against the Bloomfield, New Jersey police officers, including 33-year-old Orlando Trinidad. Trinidad has now been indicted on conspiracy, official misconduct and assault.

"It's a 30 second clip of a 10 to 15 minute video. It doesn't show you anything that led to that," Trinidad said.

Trinidad says he responded to a call of a man in a domestic violence case eluding police.

The officer came from the other side of the parkway and struck the car driven by 37-year-old Marcus Jeter.

Trinidad says the two others officers already on the scene pulled Jeter out of the car. One was yelling.

"Officer (inaudible) is still yelling, 'He's got my gun' or 'he tried to get my gun' and at that point, I'm in fear for my life and my partner's life," Trinidad said, "And I struck Mr. Jeter to his backside, trying to get his hands."

"You're repeatedly hitting him," Eyewitness News Investigative reporter Sarah Wallace said.

"He's not giving me his hands. And at that point, I still don't know if he's got a gun on him," Trinidad said.

"So now you get to the car and you hit him again," Wallace said.

"That was to get him to stop resisting, to get him in the car, to get him to calm down," Trinidad said.

All Criminal charges against Jeter were dismissed after the police dashcam from Trinidad's car surfaced.

"Mr. Jeter is a liar, Mr. Jeter lied several times. Mr. Jeter has lied three or four times to the Grand Jury in his testimony," said Patrick Toscano, Trinidad's attorney.

"As we sit here, do you think your actions were justified?" Wallace asked.

"Absolutely. I acted in good faith. I didn't do anything wrong," Trinidad said.

Trinidad says he looks forward to telling a jury the same story he told Eyewitness News.

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