Trial begins for the two Niota officers accused of beating a man


Niota, Tenn Prosecutors started day two by playing dash cam video- from the night Ray Stewart said cops beat him.

The first witness ,TBI Agent Barry Brakebill.

"Johnathan Scott stopped Ray Stewart several days prior to this incident," said Brakebill.

The same violation Scott and Mccarter said they gave Stewart on the night of June 13, 2011.

Prosecutors pointed out - that confusion questions if the two officers were telling the truth.

A Niota City commissioner tells Local 8 News - this case is the reason the city lost its liability insurance.

"The insurance problems are due to the two officers on trial and it's my understanding that TML tried to settle out of court and one person took upon themselves not to," said Commissioner Lisa Corum.

Corum said this case is getting to the root of all the corruption happening in Niota.

Corum said she hopes the truth is revealed when the verdict is read.

We've learned through new public records also passed on to us by Stewart is that officer McCarter has a history of crossing the line.

Twelve years ago, while on working as an officer with the city of Vonore, he was suspended without pay for unnecessary use of force and fired in 2004.

He joined the Etowah police department in 2005. During his time there,McCarter was reprimanded for several problems, including tasing a dog to death in 2008 and was put on probation for missing too many days of work. He resigned in January 2009.

Less than month later, the Niota police department hired Mccarter.

TBI and court files tell a story of a man, Ray Stewart, on his way to a Niota city council meeting.

He tells us he was about to accuse police of criminal activity.
But Stewart never got there. He tells us cops bashed his head on the ground and he has pictures to prove it.

We want to warn you -- his evidence is graphic.

Stewart said police pulled him over in his own driveway - demanding to see paperwork on his moped.

Stewart tells me the real reason this incident started is because he wanted to speak at the council meeting and make accusations police were committing felonies.

He said he never made that meeting because officers beat him up and he ended up at the hospital.

The cops tell a different story..saying Stewart threw elbows at them and when they grabbed him, he fell and hit his head.

In the documents,investigators questioned why officers would try to arrest Stewart on a simple traffic violation. The district attorney stated their actions were unlawful.

The documents also show one officer was on duty for less than a month and was never sworn in.

The officers Keith McCarter and Jonathan Scott have been suspended without pay.

They face conspiracy charges and go to trial next month.

The mayor of Niota also told us if the two cops are found guilty - they will be kicked off the force.


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