Two former Philadelphia police officers accused of mercilessly pummeling an unarmed man have been acquitted of all charges Monday after a jury found they acted legally.
Former officers Kevin Robinson and Sean McKnight were found not guilty of aggravated assault charges by a jury on Monday.
The two were charged with beating Najee Rivera and falsifying police paperwork after a confrontation on May 2013 on the 2700 block of North 6th Street. Rivera allegedy sped away when the two officers tried to pull him over in an unmarked police vehicle.
Rivera, 23, was shot to death in December 2015 in an unrelated dispute, months before the trial began. His former girlfriend, Dina Scannapieco, was in the courtroom to hear the verdict.
“I’m disappointed … They’re supposed to protect our community, but now they can just give out a—-whuppings? I mean it was ridiculous. There was video, medical records,” Scannapieco said. “All police officers are going to feel like it’s OK to use excessive force because this just shows them they're going to get away with it."
Robinson and McKnight were charged in February 2015 after Scannapieco dug up a surveillance tape of the incident from the 25th Police District that contradicted the paperwork they filed claiming Rivera attacked the officers and threw one against the wall. After the video was revealed, assault charges against Rivera were later dropped.
The video shows the officers’ car edge Rivera’s scooter off the road before the two men get out and begin pummeling him.