Maryland man was finally vindicated after a police officer stopped him for a broken tail light, jumped into his car and beat him — and then accused him of attempted murder.
Kevin Sneed was offered a plea deal that would allow him to avoid jail if he admitted guilt, but the black man insisted he was innocent, and a jury ultimately agreed he was not guilty, reported WRC-TV.
A Price George’s County police officer stopped Sneed two years ago for a broken tail light, and because there was a robbery the previous night in the immediate vicinity, according to the incident report.
He then claimed Sneed accelerated during the stop, and cruiser camera video does show Sneed pull around a corner as the officer orders him to stop, which he then does.
The officer reported that he jumped into the driver’s side window because he feared Sneed had a gun, and beat the black driver inside his SUV, but later admitted a search of the vehicle turned up no guns or drugs.
But Sneed was still charged with attempted murder of an officer.
“They told me no bond and they told me what I was actually charged with,” Sneed said. “I said, ‘Just let me go to my cell.’”
The state’s attorney, Aisha Braveboy, eventually reduced that charge to second-degree assault and disorderly conduct, and he was offered a plea deal that Sneed considered to avoid jail — but he decided to fight in hopes of clearing his name.
“At the end of the day, I would be a fool to take it and then they play with my life,” Sneed said.
Sneed’s mother solicited help with his case from the activist group Life After Release, which then got Black Lives Matter DC to assist in assembling a new defense team.
A jury found Sneed not guilty on all charges Wednesday, following a two-day trial, and he’s grateful for what he sees as a second chance after battling depression and anxiety following his arrest.
“If you did not do anything wrong, fight for your life,” Sneed said.