Ferguson police officer Justin Cosma made headlines last week when he arrested and allegedly assaulted two reporters working out of a McDonalds and as it turns out, it's not the first time he's been accused of unlawful force.
After sleuthing out Cosma's name—the officer apparently refused to identify himself during the arrest—the Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly broke the story today about a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in 2012 alleging Cosma hog-tied and choked a twelve-year-old for no apparent reason.
According to the suit, the twelve-year-old boy's mother had sent him to check the family's mailbox at the end of their long driveway when Cosma and his partner—then deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department—happened to walk by.
The officers apparently asked him if he had been playing on the highway next to the driveway, which the boy denied.
Then, the suit alleges, "the deputies became confrontational, frightening and intimated [the] minor child. Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed [the child], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground. [The child] was shirtless and suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body." As a finale, the suit alleges, the officers hog tied him on the ground.
According to the suit, the child required medical attention and almost had to hire a defense attorney:
The deputies reported the incident as "assault of a law enforcement officer thirddegree" and "resisting/interfering with arrest, detention or stop", but JeffersonCounty refused to issue a juvenile case.