A Baltimore police officer who could be seen in a surveillance video beating an unarmed black suspect during an arrest last year pleaded guilty to assault on Friday and was sentenced to six months in jail, the Baltimore Sun newspaper reported.
The Sun reported that officer Vincent Cosom was suspended from the police force after the video, which shows him repeatedly punching Kollin Truss in the face last June, was made public.
Shaun Owens, Cosom’s attorney, could not be immediately reached, but he told the Sun that Cosom’s behavior was “quite simply a lapse in judgment”.
A lawsuit that Truss filed against Cosom is pending.
The sentence comes just weeks after protests in Baltimore over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray from spinal injuries suffered in police custody were punctuated by a day of looting and arson.
Gray’s death became a flashpoint in the continuing national outcry over police treatment of black people and other minority groups that has been fueled by a string of police killings of unarmed black men in cities such as Ferguson, Missouri, New York City, and North Charleston, South Carolina over the past year.