A Baltimore police officer is being charged with first-degree assault and misconduct in office for an on-duty incident in which he allegedly struck a man over the head with a club on Christmas Eve, according to police and the alleged victim’s attorney.
Officer Kevin Battipaglia was suspended without pay, police spokesman Chief T.J. Smith said in a statement.
“We take these matters very seriously,” Smith said in the statement. “At this stage, the evidence in this case will be scrutinized in the judicial system.”
The aftermath of the alleged assault which occurred in Northeast Baltimore last year, was filmed and posted.
Defense attorney Latoya Francis-Williams said her client, 21-year-old Darrian Carr, was the victim. He is being held without bail on gun charges related to the incident.
“I’m pleased to hear the officer is being charged,” she said Friday. “I’m displeased that my client is still fighting criminal charges.”
She said Carr was walking down the street when Battipaglia approached him, struck him over the head and knocked him to the ground.
The video shows Carr on the ground, with an officer — not Battipaglia — straddling him and holding him down. Another unidentified officer is holding what appears to be a service weapon drawn. Battipaglia can be seen holding his police-issue club, and at one point kicks a can toward a crowd that has gathered.
Carr was charged with a handgun offense in relation to the incident. Francis-Williams disputed the charge, saying “no one can figure out where this handgun came from.”
Carr is being held without bail, with a trial date tentatively set for April.
City pay records show Battipaglia’s salary in 2017 was $66,122, though he took home $100,958 including overtime.
I don’t know if the officer is guilty or innocent but police abuse will only stop when police officers are held accountable for their actions.What do you think? Hit me @Jaztalk1 on twitter, Instagram and Facebook.