Two D.C. police officers, now suspended without pay, are about to go on trial with a former D.C. officer for allegedly taking part in a vicious assault outside a Northwest D.C. nightclub more than two years ago.
Prosecutors say two of the three officers, who were off duty at the time, beat one man so severely he lost an eye in the attack.
It took more than a year to investigate the case before nine people, including four D.C. police officers, were indicted.
Since then, four of the nine have pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and at least one has agreed to testify for the government.
The case goes back to June 10, 2011 when Walter Blair and Brandon Coates were assaulted outside the Lotus nightclub on K Street, NW. Blair lost his right eye in the attack.
Later this week in D.C. Superior Court, officers Kenneth McRavin, Keith Goins and former officer Thaddeus Modlin Jr., will go on trial with Ivon Atkinson, a security guard at the club.
Prosecutors say McRavin and Modlin took part in the attack along with Atkinson while Goins failed to take police action.
Four other men, Tho Nguyen, Vlade Jankovic, Quinton Raines and Timothy Brown, have all pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
In court Monday, Prosecutor James Smith told Judge Stuart Nash that Brown will testify for the government.
Ronald Karp, who represents Walter Blair, has seen the surveillance video recorded outside the club that night and described it to reporters in the days after the assault.
"It's a very mean video,” said attorney Ronald Karp. “And we have talked to witnesses as well. And if you put the whole picture together, you have someone on the ground in the fetal position just trying to cover up, unable to defend himself and then you see these folks dressed in black, who were obviously bouncers from this nightclub, not trying to apprehend him in any way, but are kicking him.”
According to a letter sent to the defense by the U.S. Attorneys Office and recently filed with the court, a witness identified as W-21, has changed its story and now says it did see off-duty officer Kenneth McRavin dragging and kicking one of the men and the previous story they told was incorrect.
Officers McRavin and Goins are still on the force, but suspended without pay.
Modlin has left the force, and a fourth officer, Yolanda Lampkin, has also left the force. She faces trial next year for making a false statement.
Jury selection begins Tuesday for a trial expected to last a month.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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