A police officer who arrested a journalist earlier this month in Ferguson, Missouri is also facing a federal civil rights lawsuit for allegedly attacking a 12-year-old boy while working for another department two years ago, the Huffington Post reported.
According to the Post‘s Ashley Alman and Ryan J. Reilly, the lawsuit, filed in September 2012 in a Missouri federal court, accuses Officer Justin Cosma of choking the boy around the neck and throwing him to the ground during a June 2010 encounter.
At the time, Cosma was working as a deputy for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The lawsuit states that he and his partner, identified as Richard Carter, approached the boy while he was checking his mail outside his home and asked if the boy, identified as “DB” in the suit, was playing on a nearby highway.
When DB replied “no,” the suit states, they threw him to the ground and “hog-tied” him, causing him to suffer “bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body.” He later required treatment at a local hospital.
The suit stated that Carter and Cosma subsequently charged the boy with resisting arrest and assaulting a law enforcement officer, but local prosecutors did not pursue a case against him.
The Post reported that the suit was filed not long after Ferguson was introduced as a member of Ferguson’s department at a meeting of the town’s city council. Officials in both Ferguson and Jefferson County have not commented on the lawsuit.
Reilly and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery were briefly taken into custody by Cosma and other officers on Aug. 13.
The two journalists were taken from a McDonald’s where they were working on coverage of the protests spurred on by the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Cosma’s colleague, Officer Darren Wilson. They were released without any charges being brought against them, reportedly on the orders of Chief Thomas Jackson, who was alerted to the arrests by the Los Angeles Times.
Watch the Post’s report on the suit against Cosma, as posted on Monday, below.
The lawsuit can be read in its entirety below.