Two Pomona Police Department officers facing federal civil rights charges stemming from the arrest of a teenage boy at the Los Angeles County Fair three years ago and the alleged cover-up that followed are set to go on trial in federal court in Downtown L.A. Tuesday.
PPD Cpl. Chad Kenneth Jensen is charged with deprivation of rights under color of law for allegedly beating the unarmed 16-year-old boy on Sept. 16, 2015. Prosecutors contend that Jensen violated the teen’s constitutional rights, which include the right to be free from the use of unreasonable and unnecessary force, and that the assault resulted in bodily injury.
Jensen, 51, and his partner, Officer Prince Taylor Hutchinson are charged with preparing false reports that attempted to justify the use of force. The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges that in a report prepared soon after the incident, Jensen falsely wrote that the teenager attempted to punch Jensen’s face and that the boy came within arm’s reach of another officer who was escorting someone who had been placed under arrest.
Hutchinson, 32, similarly is accused of writing a report that falsely stated the teen had come within two to three feet of the officer who was escorting the arrestee, and that the alleged victim had “yelled at the crowd, trying to incite unrest” at the Pomona Fairplex.
A third defendant in the case — PPD Sgt. Michael Timothy Neaderbaomer — who was assigned to the PPD’s Internal Affairs unit — is charged with obstruction of justice for making false statements to the alleged victim’s family designed to dissuade them from reporting the incident to law enforcement. Neaderbaomer, 50, will be tried separately in December.
Two years ago, the city of Pomona reportedly paid the alleged victim $500,000 to settle a civil lawsuit over the violent arrest.