Lynn

‘I Think About It Every Day': Victim of Alleged Police Beating Speaks

Lynn police officer Matthew Coppinger is charged with assault and battery in connection with the June 16, 2020, incident

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Victor White says he's still traumatized by what happened to him on June 16, 2020, at the Lynn Police Department.

"I think about it every day," White said Thursday. "The video shows me complying with his orders, then him reaching for my neck/face area and then he starts wailing on me."

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The video is from a security camera in a holding cell at the Lynn Police Department. It shows a physical encounter between former Lynn police officer Matthew Coppinger and White, who was in custody at the time. 

White, a 33-year-old Tufts University cook from Lynn, was one of three men arrested after police received a noise complaint and a report of public drinking at his home. The charges were later dropped.

On Thursday, Coppinger pleaded not guilty to an assault and battery charge in the case. 

"Just knowing that he's going to go through the court system like he’s supposed to and be held accountable makes me feel great," White said afterward. 

Coppinger, 35, resigned shortly after the encounter. 

Court paperwork said Coppinger asked White to remove his mask, but White didn't comply, leading to the confrontation between between the two.

Coppinger, who is white, also said in his report that White, who is Black, grabbed his wrist and pushed him, but White said the video speaks for itself.

"I'm just glad we had the video to prove that what I was telling was the truth," White said.

There is no evidence that race played a role in the altercation.

In court Thursday, Coppinger's attorney tried to have the assault and battery charge thrown out with a motion under the state's Brave Act, which provides support for returning veterans. The judge denied that.

Coppinger's attorney said he was "deeply disappointed" with that decision, citing Coppinger's dedication to the U.S. Army, and his time spent on the ground in dangerous situations in Afghanistan. He also said Coppinger suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Coppinger is scheduled to return to court on June 1.

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