A local TV station in Boston has discovered yet another case of police lies being refuted by video evidence.
In 2009, Jacob Carnelli was charged with assaulting Boston police officer Adarbaad Karani at a bar, but the charge was dismissed after a surveillance video from the bar showed that he was the one who was attacked.
In 2014, Carnelli received a $100,000 settlement from the bar and a $300,000 settlement from the city as part of a personal injury lawsuit because he suffered a number of injuries from the incident, including multiple concussions and a broken jaw.
In 2015, Karani is still under investigation by internal affairs, a six-year investigation that can be resolved in minutes by comparing the video evidence to Karani’s contradicting statements on the police report.
Carnelli’s case is one of around two thousand police misconduct lawsuits that the city has settled over the past decade, at the cost to taxpayers of more than $36 million.
The incident happened on June 9, 2009 and the suit was settled last year, but it’s making the news now because Fox 25 has learned that the Boston Police Department claims its internal investigation is still ongoing nearly six years later.
Carnelli, who was very intoxicated that night, was removed from the Revolution Rock Bar in the Financial District by bouncers. He later returned to retrieve his credit card which he had left behind.
The police report claims that Carnelli shoved Officer Karani in an attempt to get back into the bar, but then “ran away and ran from the officer and left the area without further incident.” The police report also cites bar employees who claimed that Carnelli “fell to the ground several times and that at no time did anyone strike him” as an explanation for his injuries.
But surveillance video from the bar shows Carnelli standing in the doorway of the bar, talking with Karani and bouncers. At no time did he push anyone. Eventually, Karani and the bouncers dragged Carnelli outside the bar and threw him to the ground. Karani climbed on top of Carnelli, forcing his knee into the man’s back.
Despite this clear video evidence, prosecutors stand behind Karani’s version of the events. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office told Fox 25 that the case was actually dismissed because Karani “was late for court after attending a charity event and the judge was impatient.”
A Human Resources employee at the Boston Police Department confirmed to PINAC that Karani is still on active status, despite the ongoing internal investigation. According to The Boston Globe, the officer took home $113,691.66 last year.
But now that Fox 25 has been following up on the story, the police department claims they are close to completing their internal investigation.
The case is not unique in this regard, as the Boston Police Department frequently takes a year or more to resolve complaints. Last year, Shaun Joseph, who was wrongfully arrested during a protest in 2013, finally decided to just file a lawsuit because the department failed to resolve his complaint after more than a year even though it was backed up by video evidence.
PINAC investigator Felipe Hemming contributed to this report.