BALTIMORE — It took jurors less than 30 minutes to find a Baltimore County police officer not guilty of assault after a camera captured him kicking a suspect, reports CBS affiliate WJZ.
Christopher Spivey, 29, faced four counts of second degree assault after an incident on January 25. The case was built around 17 seconds of infrared helicopter video, showing him kicking a suspected car thief.
In the minutes before, the chopper captured a car chase, then a foot chase, then the moment when 20-year-old Diamontae Tyquan Farrar hits the ground. Farrar was reportedly later convicted of the car theft.
Throughout the trial, the state argued that after Farrar surrendered, the kicks and blows that followed were excessive force.
The jury did not agree. They not only acquitted Spivey on day three of the trial, they waited around to thank him for his service outside the courthouse.
"I take my responsibility to police the police very seriously," said Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger. "I watched that video dozens of times before we made the decision to go forward. My decision will always be made based on the facts and the law."
He says he's chosen to prosecute only two use-of-force cases in 10 years.
The defense said this case shouldn't have been one of them.
"We certainly hope that in the future they will investigate these matters more thoroughly before they charge a good cop like Chris Spivey," Thompson said.
Jurors told WJZ that seeing the video, they understand how it would be very easy to jump to conclusions, but in the end all 12 members reached a verdict very quickly.
Spivey was suspended with pay during the investigation and trial.