A Philadelphia police officer’s daring move could cost him his job after body camera footage showed him deleting a video from a man’s phone after violently arresting him.
Agent Burnett, whose first name has not been released, was under investigation by the Philadelphia Police Department after Jacob Giddings accused the officer of removing the video he recorded of a showdown between the pair on March 23.
Burnett attempted to arrest 30-year-old Giddings around 10:30 p.m. that evening after running the license plates on a pickup truck with “dark tinted” windows parked at a gas station for 10 to 15 minutes and discovering that the driver had an active arrest warrant. for assault.
Body-camera video of the incident emerged this week after Giddings – a black father and business owner – vowed to charge the Philadelphia police with excessive force and assault, tampering with evidence, false arrest and malicious prosecution.
The video appeared to show Burnett removing the video from Gidding’s phone after dropping it during a scuffle.
A Philadelphia police officer’s bold move could cost him his job after body camera footage reveals he deleted a video from a man’s phone after violently arresting him
Jacob Giddings, 30, videotaped his confrontation with Officer Burnett on March 23
In the video, Giddings can be seen sitting in the driver’s seat with a passenger next to him. He holds his phone to his right as he verbally goes back and forth with Burnett to his left.
“Get out of the vehicle, man,” Burnett says.
“I’ve got you on camera,” Giddings replies at one point.
A physical struggle ensued after Burnett tried to grab Giddings’ arm.
According to the police report, Burnett tried to take Giddings out after he “started resisting.”
“He hit me, he hit me,” Giddings can be heard saying in the video.
The body-cam footage cuts into Burnett tinkering with Giddings’ iPhone, which appears to have a cracked screen protector at the moment.
Agent Burnett puts the phone on the hood of a patrol SUV and appears to delete Giddings’ video. He puts the cracked screen protector back on and hands the phone back to Giddings, who is sitting in the back seat.
“My video is still in it?” he asks.
“I don’t know,” Burnett replies.
The police report makes no mention of Giddings’ cell phone or of the video Burnett appeared to delete.
The video was later recovered from Giddings’ iCloud account, according to his attorney Donte Mills, who told DailyMail.com that the police report downplayed his client’s injuries.
Mills said Giddings, who was released on $100,000 bail, suffered injuries to his hand, face, neck, head and foot, although the police report only noted minor cuts to his wrists from handcuffs.
In bodycam footage, Officer Burnett tries to grab Giddings after verbal back and forth
The incident took place at a Philadelphia gas station shortly before 10:30 p.m. on March 23
Giddings owns a construction contractor business in Philadelphia.
“There was a significant amount of time he couldn’t work, and he still has problems to this day,” Mills told DailyMail.com.
He was charged with one count of resisting arrest and one count of drug possession, with police noting that he was carrying marijuana.
The Philadelphia Police Department previously said: TMZ that Officer Burnett had been placed with administrative duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Lennon Edwards, a lawyer on Giddings’ defense team, says he has since learned that the officer is on leave.
“We wonder what that actually means—last I heard he was still at work,” Edwards said.
“If an officer has committed an obvious crime, it’s a slap in the face to get back to work, it’s a mockery. It underlines that there are no consequences at any level for an officer who commits a crime.’
The attorneys said Giddings had no knowledge of the assault warrant that prompted his interaction with Burnett.
It stemmed from a “road rage” incident where someone tried to pass him.
“They exchanged words and eventually, when he left, the person took his license plate and took it to the police and said they got into an argument,” Mills said.
“He had no idea about this.”
They are prosecuting the department for assault, false arrest, malicious prosecution, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence.
Lennon says the race of the arresting officer – who in this case was black – should not be taken into account.
‘When someone puts on the uniform, the uniform is blue. It doesn’t matter if the person in that uniform is black, white, green, or something else. The problem is that the behavior of the officers in this broken police system is turning blue against the community.’
The Philadelphia Police Department did not respond to calls or emails about the incident from DailyMail.com.