Trial starts for West Virginia trooper charged in beating of teen

West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) – A trial has started for a West Virginia trooper federally charged in the beating of a teenager who led authorities on a high-speed chase after rear-ending a deputy.

News outlets report prosecutors opened the deprivation of rights trial on Monday by arguing that Michael Kennedy wanted to “punish” the teen during the November arrest. Dashcam video released in January shows Kennedy at the center of a group of officers kicking, stomping on and punching the teen.

Seven law enforcement officers testified. Berkeley County sheriff’s dashcam video administrator, Deputy Willy Johnson, said he alerted the sheriff to the video because “something told me it wasn’t right.”

Another video released Monday shows Kennedy slapping the teen. Defense attorney Craig Manford argued Kennedy was attempting to get the teen to comply.

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