Calls for firing police officers who 'assaulted' Arab-American teenager

Calls for firing police officers who 'assaulted' Arab-American teenager in New Jersey
2 min read
15 February, 2021
CAIR New Jersey has urged the dismissal of two police officers accused of assaulting a teenager.
Osama al-Saidi suffered head injuries after the alleged assault [CAIR-NJ]
The United States' leading Muslim rights organisation has called for two New Jersey police officers to be fired over the alleged assault of an Arab-American teenager.

The New Jersey branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has also called for an official investigation in two other officers who were present at the alleged assault.

The incident was captured on security camera footage, with a video of a CCTV monitor recording being shared online.

In the video, 19-year-old Osama Alsaidi can be seen walking by a parked white van when a car - which does not appear to be a marked police vehicle - approaches.

Two officers, named as by Kevin Patino and Marcos Martinez by CAIR, get out of the car and approach Alsaidi.

The police officers appear to try and apprehend Alsaidi, who appears to resist in the footage.

They are then seen beating the teenager to the ground before two other officers appear, attempting to clear bystanders from the area.

The incident allegedly took place in December last year but the footage did not surface until recently.

Alsaidi was diagnosed with head trauma and a concussion following the alleged beating, according to CAIR.

"The teen posed no visible threat to either officer and was not given an opportunity to comply with the officer's orders - assuming any orders were even," said local CAIR director  Selaedin Maksut.

"The officers then allegedly fabricated a story in their police report to cover up their assault. Their report was proven to be false once the video surfaced almost two months later," Maksut said in a statement calling for the officers' termination.

"Anything less than termination would be an insult to the residents of Paterson, and an affront to justice," he added.

It is not the first time the Paterson Police Department has been accused of using excessive force.

Last year, the Paterson City Council agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a man whose nose was broken during a 2010 drug bust.

Paterson's Mayor Andre Sayegh pledged to release 20 years' worth of disciplinary records for police officers amid the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests last year.

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