Police brutality victim arrested on unrelated charges
Two Philadelphia police officers were recently charged with recklessly assaulting Najee Rivera in 2013. Now Rivera faces unrelated charges of his own.
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In March, Najee Rivera petitioned for a second chance at the “dream job” he lost after becoming the victim of police brutality.
But the 90,000 electronic signatures supporting his cause won’t do much good now.
Rivera, 23, was arrested Wednesday night in South Philadelphia for violating a restraining order placed against him by a 29-year-old female, Philly.com reported.
Charges were filed Thursday morning for violation of a restraining order, criminal trespassing, and possession of a controlled substance.
Back in February, Philadelphia police officers Kevin Robinson and Sean McKnight were charged for assaulting Rivera almost two years prior. The laundry list of other charges brought against them by the District Attorney's Office included reckless endangerment, criminal conspiracy, and falsifying public records.
In May 2013, Robinson and McKnight filed a police report indicating they had pulled Rivera over in a routine traffic stop in the Fairhill section of the city. They claimed that Rivera had reached for one of the officer’s batons, causing a violent exchange. Rivera suffered a fractured orbital bone and several lacerations to his head as a result.
Rivera’s girlfriend scoured the area in search of an eyewitness. At last, she found surveillance footage that vindicated Rivera. The video told quite a different story than Robinson and McKnight did.
The officers can be seeing knocking Rivera off of his motorcycle with their patrol car. They then got out of the vehicle and proceeded to beat Rivera with their batons as he screamed for help.
In his online petition, Rivera said that the false arrest and the injuries contributed to him to losing his job at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
A preliminary hearing for the new charges against Rivera has been set for May 21 at 10 a.m.