Another Ferguson police officer is being sued, this time for brutalizing a 12-year-old

Officer Justin Cosma reportedly "choked [the boy] around the neck and threw him to the ground" VIDEO

Topics: Video, Ferguson, Police, brutality, lawsuit, , ,

Another Ferguson police officer is being sued, this time for brutalizing a 12-year-old (Credit: Carl Ballou via Shutterstock)

Yet another lawsuit implicates a Ferguson police officer in an incident of brutal misconduct. Justin Cosma, the officer in question, was working with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office when he and another officer allegedly approached a 12-year-old boy as he was checking the mail. The two officers asked the boy if he had been playing on a highway nearby, and when the boy said no, the officers broke protocol.

The Huffington Post has more:

The officers “became confrontational” and intimidated the child, the lawsuit claims. “Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed [the boy], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground,” it says. The boy was shirtless at the time, and allegedly “suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body.”

The 12-year-old was transferred to a medical facility for treatment, but the lawsuit says Cosma and the other officer reported the incident as “assault of a law enforcement officer third degree” and “resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop.”

Jefferson County prosecutors “refused to issue a juvenile case” against the young child, the suit says.

Cosma has also been identified as one of the two police officers responsible for arresting journalists from the Washington Post and the Huffington Post at a McDonald’s during protests in Ferguson earlier this month.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cosma was a recipient of the John J. McAtee Police Recognition Award for his “exemplary care, concern and actions when responding to a person in psychiatric crisis.”

The case file is available below.



Joanna Rothkopf

Joanna Rothkopf is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on science, health and society. Follow @JoannaRothkopf or email jrothkopf@salon.com.

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