Persistent girlfriend gets Philly cops indicted in Latino beating case

A persistent girlfriend is to thank for two Philadelphia cops being charged with beating a man and allegedly lying about it on a police report.…

Officers Sean McKnight, left, and Kevin Robinson are shown in an undated photo pairing from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Philadelphia PD)

A persistent girlfriend is to thank for two Philadelphia cops being charged with beating a man and allegedly lying about it on a police report.

Sean McKnight and Kevin Robinson were indicted last week on charges stemming to a 2013 incident. Investigators say they savagely beat 23-year-old Najee Rivera during a traffic stop.

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ABC 6, a local news station in Philadelphia, says the two cops are facing a slew of charges, including aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and recklessly endangering another person.  They are also suspended for 30 days with intent to be dismissed from the force.

Rivera was originally charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault, but his girlfriend spent over a year searching for evidence that would prove Rivera was in fact the victim.  She finally located surveillance footage from a local store.

What surveillance tape showed

The tape obtained by ABC 6 shows Rivera riding his scooter down the street.  He was then clipped by a police car that had no lights or sirens on.  The two officers are seen getting out, pushing Rivera onto the floor and beating him with batons.  Several cars drove by, one even slowing down to check out the scene, but ultimately Rivera was left bloody and with a black eye.

In the police report, McKnight and Robinson claimed that Rivera had fallen off his scooter, grabbed a police baton and attacked them.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams told the TV station the video proves the cops lied:  “The video undermined every aspect of the officers’ account of the incident. A grand jury found none of it was true except for the blows inflicted on Najee Rivera.

“He never resisted. He never struck them. He never fought back. They just started hitting him.”

The reason for the beating is unknown, however Williams wants the public to know that justice is being served.  “Hopefully this case will show Philadelphians that our system here works,” Williams said.

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Rivera filed a civil lawsuit in federal court and won a $200,000 settlement from the city, but a criminal case is still pending.