Teen beating trial: Former WV State Trooper testifies action was justified

West Virginia

UPDATE: MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM)–On November 19th, 2018, the lives of a 16-year-old juvenile and several West Virginia State Troopers and deputies were changed forever after a disturbing video was released to the public.

“The biggest thing I was arguing with is a video only shows us so much, we just had one view and we had four or five officers at one time,” said Defense Attorney Craig Manford. “It was hard to see the resistance to see if the person was resisting or not.”

29-year-old Former Trooper Michael Kennedy appeared in Federal Court Tuesday under charges of using excessive force, and other offenses, after a video recorded off an officer’s dashboard camera shows him and several officers beating the teen after a high-speed pursuit. In court, the prosecuting team claims that Kennedy used excessive force after the juvenile was detained in handcuffs, and Kennedy is seen punching and kicking the teen repeatedly.

“The government didn’t put forth any medical records, in fact, one paramedic who arrived on the scene testified that there were no complaints of pain of any type of excessive force that the main complaint was that the handcuffs were too tight,” said Manford.

One of the key points addressed in court was the aspect of police training that focuses on when a certain amount of force is considered necessary. Five officers took the stand and testified what their training taught them.

“It was his contention that the subject never stopped resisting,” said Manford. “Resisting arrest, mainly is what’s going on, trying to get back up after he was told to stay down, or not following verbal commands to give me your hands.”

Prosecuting Attorney Bill Powell said he has no comments until the end of the bench trial, which will begin again in about two-to-three weeks.

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