Two Philadelphia cops accused of savagely beating a man without provocation and then lying about it have been indicted following a thorough investigation—by the victim's girlfriend. After Najee Rivera was given a beating that left him with a fractured bone in his face and one eye swollen shut, girlfriend Dina Scannapieco canvassed businesses in the area and found security footage that led to Rivera's exoneration on charges of assault and resisting arrest and to the arrest of the two officers involved, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Officers Kevin Robinson and Sean McKnight claimed Rivera, 23, had fallen off his scooter and then attacked them, but the video shows that their account was almost entirely false, the district attorney says.
In the May 2013 incident, Rivera did fall off his scooter—after one of the officers reached out of the patrol car and clubbed him in the head with a baton, the DA says. The video then shows the pair beating Rivera with fists and batons against a wall and then on the ground. He shows no sign of resistance and can be heard screaming for help. Rivera told a grand jury that minutes before the beating, the pair had pulled him over, but he became frightened and sped off when they emerged from their car with batons extended, saying, "Come here." The grand jury recommended charges including criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and tampering with public records for the officers, who were arraigned yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports. (Read more Philadelphia stories.)