Absent Former Officers Arraigned on Brutality Charges

By Austin Nolen

Former Philadelphia Police officers Kevin Robinson and Sean McKnight were arraigned on Tuesday in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on eight criminal charges each, stemming from a traffic stop in May 2013, during which the two allegedly used excessive force against Najee Rivera and then lied to cover it up. The charges they face include aggravated assault, conspiracy and tampering with public records, which are felonies.

District Attorney's Office-provided photographs show Officers McKnight and Robinson, and Najee Rivera after his May 2013 encounter with the officers

District Attorney’s Office-provided photographs show Officers McKnight and Robinson, and Najee Rivera after his May 2013 encounter with the officers

The two former officers were held for trial after a hearing in the Municipal Court on June 23rd, during which a judge found that sufficient evidence existed for the case to continue. Prosecutors then filed an information, or a formal list of charges, on July 2nd.

Prior to their arrest for the alleged beating of Rivera, Robinson and McKnight each had seven civilian complaints filed against them. Neither Robinson nor McKnight appeared in court, as they had previously waived their right to attend the arraignment, which normally consists of a reading of charges and the rights of the accused. Their next court date is on August 5th, where both sides will discuss evidence in the case and other issues prior to trial.

This piece was cross-posted at The Declaration and The Spirit as part of our new collaboration.

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