Criminal Charges Sought For Officer Who Choked Motorist - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Criminal Charges Sought For Officer Who Choked Motorist

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Mount Juliet Cpl. Bill Cosby clutching James Anders' neck. Mount Juliet Cpl. Bill Cosby clutching James Anders' neck.
Mount Juliet Cpl. Bill Cosby Mount Juliet Cpl. Bill Cosby

LEBANON, Tenn. - A Wilson County man said he was nearly choked to death during a routine traffic stop.

It was all caught on tape.

Prosecutors now seek criminal charges against the officer involved.

Mount Juliet Cpl. Bill Cosby was placed on desk duty in the spring as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation scrutinized the video, investigated the incident.

Their investigation is complete and now Wilson County District Attorney Tommy Thompson is seeking criminal charges.

The police video is now a key piece of evidence against Cosby who stopped James Anders, Jr. in April. Cosby said he smelled marijuana and handcuffed Angers and his passenger.

Cosby believed Anders hid marijuana in his mouth so he tried to keep him from swallowing. In the video, Cosby is seen putting his hands around Anders' neck and applying pressure and telling him to stick out his tongue.

"Keep your tongue out. You put your tongue back in your mouth and I'm going to choke you. Stick your tongue out,' Cosby said.

The confrontation lasts nearly two minutes before Anders collapsed. He was unconscious. Marijuana was not found in his mouth and he tested negative for the drug.

Prosecutors said Cosby went too far.  This week, the district attorney went before the grand jury seeking felony indictments including assault and perjury for filing a false report.

Anders' attorney Gary Vandever said Cosby falsely charged his client with resisting arrest.

"At no point did he ever resist arrest. The tape shows that," he said.

Prosecutors agreed and dropped charges against Anders and ordered a TBI investigation.

This week, the district attorney showed the video to a grand jury, hoping to indict Cosby. Vandever said that would send a message to all officers this isn't the way to handle such a stop.

Vandever thinks the video should become part of police cadet training to show them what not to do.

Neither the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation nor Thompson would comment on the confidential grand jury proceedings.

But if an indictment is returned Tuesday night it would be sealed until Cosby is served with the warrant.

Source said Cosby is out of the state in training with the National Guard. He's not due back in the area until next month. His attorney also declined to comment on the case.

A criminal indictment would only add to the officer's legal problems. Anders is already suing him in federal court for allegedly violating his constitutional rights.

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