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Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges

 According to a lawsuit filed in 2012 in Missouri federal court, Justin Cosma and another officer, Richard Carter, approached a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mailbox at the end of his driveway in June 2010. Cosma was an officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at the time, the lawsuit states. The pair asked the boy if he’d been playing on a nearby highway, and he replied no, according to the lawsuit.Then, the officers “became confrontational” and intimidated the child, the lawsuit claims.

“Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed [the boy], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground,” it says. The boy was shirtless at the time, and allegedly “suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body.”

The 12-year-old was transferred to a medical facility for treatment, but the lawsuit says Cosma and the other officer reported the incident as “assault of a law enforcement officer third degree” and “resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop.”

Jefferson County prosecutors “refused to issue a juvenile case” against the young child, the suit says.T

The allegations against Cosma were made in September 2012, shortly after he was introduced as a new officer at a Ferguson City Council meeting. Jefferson County is south of Ferguson.

Richard R. Lozano, the lawyer representing the young man in the lawsuit,  provided a statement:

“The lawsuit alleges that Justin Cosma and Richard Carter, two deputies with the Jefferson County, Missouri sheriff’s department in 2010, assaulted my client during an encounter on my client’s driveway while his mother was inside their house. My client was 12 years old at the time, shirtless and was not suspected of any criminal behavior. He was checking the mail. The deputies approached my client and the encounter quickly escalated. My client was restrained, choked, thrown to the ground and hogtied by the two deputies. He suffered scrapes and choke marks to his neck. No charges were ever brought against my client. It is my understanding that Justin Cosma is currently an officer with the City of Ferguson,”

[continue reading article in Huffington Post}

Here are the allegations against Cosma in the lawsuit filed in Missouri Federal Court:

On June 25, 2010, 12 year old minor child DB was checking his mail at the end ofhis driveway when he was approached by Jefferson County deputies Justin Cosmaand Richard Carter.2.
 
The deputies asked DB if he had been playing on the highway adjacent to hisdriveway, to which DB replied “no”.3.
 
The deputies became confrontational, frightening and intimidated minor child DB.4.
 
Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed DB, choked him around theneck and threw him to the ground.5.
 
DB was shirtless and suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across hisbody.6.
 
Said deputies “hog tied” DB.7.
 
At no time was a parent or other adult present during the initial questioning orarrest.8.
 
DB was transported to a medical facility for medical treatment.9.
 
The deputies reported the incident as “assault of a law enforcement officer thirddegree” and “resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop”, but JeffersonCounty refused to issue a juvenile case against DB.10.
 
DB presented no danger to the deputies or himself.11.
 
DB was at the time a young, small child who was simply checking the mail on his property as instructed by his mother, was not engaged in suspicious activity and was assaulted by the deputies without provocation.12.
 
The show of force initiated by the deputies caused an unreasonable injury to DB.13.
 
On or about June 25, 2010, the Jefferson County deputies Justin Cosma andRichard Carter were on duty at all times relevant to this complaint and were dulyappointed sheriff deputies of Jefferson County.14.
 
The Jefferson County deputies Justin Cosma and Richard Carter engaged in theconduct complained of, on said date, in the course and scope of their employmentand while on duty.
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This entry was posted on August 26, 2014 by in News and Commentary, Social Justice and tagged , , , , .
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