Paterson Police Officers Kevin Patino and Kendry Tineo-Restituyo face civil rights and obstruction of justice charges over the alleged incident.
Investigators have accused them of depriving Osamah Alsaidi, then 19, of his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and also claim they then lied about it on a police incident report.
The December 2020 incident was captured on surveillance video and led to an investigation in February by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.
Both Mr Patino, 29, and Mr Tineo-Restituyo, 28, handed themselves in to authorities on Tuesday and were released on $50,000 bonds.
Both officers had to surrender travel documents and firearms and Mr Partino was ordered by a judge to undergo mental health testing.
Neither officer entered a plea during the court hearing.
Mr Patino’s attorney, Anthony Iacullo said in a statement that he is “confident” the process “will vindicate Officer Patino and establishing that his actions, based on the totality of what transpired that night, were appropriate.”
Mr Alsaidi was on his way to a 1am shift at Amazon when he was allegedly attacked by the officers, who court documents state had been responding to a call about a “suspicious person.”
The surveillance video reportedly shows the officers briefly talking to Mr Alsaidi before he was allegedly attacked.
Lawyers for Mr Alsaidi said he suffered multiple physical injuries, including head trauma, a concussion and multiple cuts and bruises, as well as anxiety, stress and depression.
The officers are also accused of making false statements in their report.
“For instance, the police report falsely stated that the victim had walked towards the officers ‘screaming profanities’ and ‘acting belligerent’ and that the victim had struck Patino with a closed fist in the chest. None of this was true,” a press release from the New Jersey US Attorney’s Office states.
If convicted the officers each face a maximum of 10 years in prison for the civil rights violation charge, a maximum of 20 years in prison for the falsification of a record charge, and a maximum fine of $250,000 for each charge, according to the US Attorney’s office.