A visit to the LA county fair turned into a police brutality nightmare for Christian Aguilar, who was beaten and tased for doing nothing other than filming the police. Now, because someone bravely decided to film that nightmare, the police who caused it are going to trial for their crimes.
Three officers with the Pomona Police Department were indicted last year for alleged civil rights violations that occurred during the arrest of then-16-year-old Christian Aguilar.
As KTLA reports, a federal prosecutor in the criminal trial of two Pomona police officers charged in a violent encounter with a teenager told jurors Tuesday that a video showing cops pummeling the teen would prove the officers’ guilt, while defense attorneys countered the same footage would help to vindicate the men.
Last year, Sgt. Michael Neaderbaomer, Officer Chad Jensen and Officer Prince Hutchinson pleaded not guilty to multiple counts, including use of force, witness tampering, and falsifying records, all stemming from the September 16, 2015, incident.
The officers allegedly wrote a false police report to “justify the use of force” against Aguilar, who was not named in the federal indictment. The report claims the teen came within arm’s length of another officer who was arresting a suspect and then attempted to punch Jensen in the face, while trying to “incite unrest,” reports CBS.
However, none of the alleged incitement of unrest was apparent in the video, thus the indictment of three cops.
In 2015, after the Pomona Police officers beat the teen, they maliciously charged him, his parents, and the uninvolved man who filmed the boy’s assault.
According to the man who filmed the beating, Robert Hansen, police confiscated his camera, arrested him, and edited the video before submitting it for the investigation.
Eventually, all charges against Hansen, Aguilar, and Aguilar’s parents were dropped — but not before cops lied to cover the incident up. The video below, however, does not lie.
As he watched his parents get arrested, Aguilar merely attempted to film the interaction. His freedom of speech was then met with heavy police violence.
According to a report by Photography is Not a Crime at the time,
As is clear in the video, Aguilar didn’t ever challenge the first officer on the scene’s use of inappropriate force, when Officer Jensen smashed his head into a fence – instead putting his hands at his sides and thrusting his chin forward in a posture of frustrated readiness.
Officer Jensen thrust his forearm into Aguilar’s face twice at maximum thrust, before Pomona Officers Hutchinson and Correa arrived.
Hutchinson thoughtfully held the teenager along with Jensen, and that’s when Pomona Officer landed a devastating blow, with his long black baton to Christian Aguilar’s knee, sending the teenager to the ground.
As the three grown men beat the teenager, another Pomona Officer came over an discharged his taser near the teen to strike terror.