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New case of false arrest raised in Bloomfield

Sarah Wallace has the Eyewitness News exclusive.
February 27, 2014 4:30:37 PM PST
There are more troubling questions for the police department in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

After Eyewitness News obtained police dashcam video which cleared a man of criminal charges, we were contacted by two other men.

They say that they too were wrongly charged by cops in another case in Bloomfield.

The Bloomfield Police Department is embroiled in controversy.

Its Internal Affairs Division is under fire, in part because of that police dashcam video, and now that's prompting others to come forward.

"Bloomfield cops need to go down, simple as that," Byszheir Jones, who was falsely accused of a crime, said.

Jones, 22, saw the police dashcam video we recently obtained that helped clear a Bloomfield man who had been hit with a slew of charges after a car stop in the summer of 2012. Two cops were later indicted.

It turns out, Jones and his best friend, Travis Miller, were arrested a few days after that incident during a car stop and charged with armed robbery.

Jones saw the dashcam video and said, "They're at it again, they're on a spree."

"I think we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and it's like, go find two black kids," Travis Miller said.

"They kept asking us why did we hit a kid in the face with a gun and we had no idea what they were talking about."

"My heart dropped. I'm a good kid. I've never been in trouble. I couldn't believe it," jones said.

They were told a witness had picked them out as they were being questioned. Both of them say when they saw our dashcam story, they recognized one of the police officers, Orlando Trinidad, who has now been charged with assault in the dashcam video case.

"He came out and he tightened my handcuffs because i asked them to be loosened," Jones said, adding that no one checked to see if he had an alibi.

In fact, several alibi witnesses later swore that both men had been at Jones' home for a pool party, but the case still went on for months.

"They said if I plead guilty I could get five to seven years, and I said no. I'm innocent and the judge said, 'you could do 17-35 if you are convicted during trial at that time,'" Jones said.

Suddenly, the two received letters from the prosecutor's office that all the charges had been dismissed, but jones says he's still haunted by the false arrest.

"Google search. If you put in my name, armed robbery, weapons possession," Jones said. No mention that the charges have been dismissed.

These young men were looking at 17 to 30 years in prison if convicted. Imagine if they did not have solid alibis. That's what makes single eyewitness cases so frightening.

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