New trial ordered because jurors didn’t see cellphone video

May 21, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s supreme court says jurors who convicted a man of resisting arrest and assault should have been allowed to see cellphone video taken by the defendant’s sister.

A police officer arrested Abdiaziz Hussein, of Lewiston, after he allegedly refused to sign a criminal summons, tried to run and punched the officer. The video showed Hussein with a pen in his hand, signaling a possible willingness to sign, while pinned on the floor.

In a 6-1 decision, the Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday ordered a new trial, saying the judge made a mistake in declining to allow the video to be shown to jurors.

Dissenting Justice Donald Alexander said the trial judge didn’t err and that if he did then it was a “harmless” error.

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