Ferguson Cop Hog Tied And Assaulted 12 Year Old Boy, Suit Alleges

Ferguson police officer Justin Cosma. Image Credit" Gawker

Ferguson police officer Justin Cosma. Image Credit” Gawker

A pending lawsuit against a Ferguson police officer, Justin Cosma, claims that Cosma, along with a second officer, Richard Carter, assaulted and hog tied a 12 year old boy, while the pair were employed with the now defunct Jefferson Police Department (PD). The entire Jefferson PD was disbanded three years ago, due to racism, excessive force, internal corruption and a list of other charges. It appears that many of the officers who were fired from the Jefferson PD were quickly hired in by the Ferguson police department.

According to the Huffington Post, Cosma and Carter approached the boy when he was outside checking the mail. They asked him if he had been playing on the expressway. When he responded no:

“unprovoked and without cause the deputies grabbed the boy, choked him around the neck, and threw him to the ground.”

The boy’s attorney, Richard R. Lazano, also released a statement about the incident, saying:

“The lawsuit alleges that Justin Cosma and Richard Carter, two deputies with the Jefferson County, Missouri sheriff’s department in 2010, assaulted my client during an encounter on my client’s driveway while his mother was inside their house. My client was 12 years old at the time, shirtless and was not suspected of any criminal behavior. He was checking the mail. The deputies approached my client and the encounter quickly escalated. My client was restrained, choked, thrown to the ground and hogtied by the two deputies. He suffered scrapes and choke marks to his neck. No charges were ever brought against my client. It is my understanding that Justin Cosma is currently an officer with the City of Ferguson,”

The Huffington Post reports that the boy was taken to nearby medical center, following the incident. The medical evidence showed the boy had choke marks and bruising. The boy, who wasn’t wearing a shirt at the time he was thrown to the ground, ¬†also had cuts across his body.

Cosma was one of the officers that arrested reporters from the Huffington Post and the Washington Post, as they were working in a McDonald’s. Boyd refused to identify himself or show his badge during the arrest, but the two reporters have since been able to identify him.

Since protests broke out in the city of Ferguson over the shooting of unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, four officers have been suspended. Another recently came under fire after he posted racist tweets and threatened the US Attorney General.

Other cases of excessive force and extreme violence that have been unearthed in the past few weeks include an incident in which four officers, John Beaird, Christopher Pillarick, Kim Tihan and Mike White beat a man in his jail cell, and then charged him with the crime of bleeding.

The Huffington Post also revealed that another officer, hired by the Ferguson PD after he resigned from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, in light of multiple allegations of physical abuse against children. Eddie Boyd III faced three different counts of assaulting children, one of which was sustained. Boyd was hired by the Ferguson PD sometime between 2009 and 2010.

What really went on here?

“I see you’ve been in a bit of trouble for abusing kids. Come on, you’re just the kind of guy we’re looking for.”

“So you hog tied a little brown boy over there in St. Louis? Say no more, you’re hired!”

The picture of the Ferguson police department that seems to be becoming all too clear, is a force made up of troubled officers, many who migrated to the city after justice caught up with them elsewhere. Until 2010, the city had no system to keep track of citizen complaints of excessive force, just the kind of place that would serve as a magnet for the worst of worst. Cops who came to Ferguson looking for impunity and no accountability for their actions, certainly found a complicit court and city government. When the number of warrants issued in a single year, exceeds the population of the city three times over, the problem does not begin or end with these cops. It is also deeply rooted in the system that allowed, covered up and encouraged the despicable police abuse that has been rampant in this town for years.