A witness says a 36-year-old Philadelphia police officer hurled racial epithets, pulled up his shirt to reveal his gun and threatened to shoot a man during an off-duty traffic mishap more than two years ago.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the witness was the prosecution's first as Edward Sawicki III's trial on charges of terroristic threats, simple assault and possession of an instrument of crime got underway on Tuesday.
Investigators have said Sawicki backed into the victim's knee in October 2013 and the man banged his hand on Sawicki's car when he was struck. The witness testified that Sawicki told the victim, "I'll smoke you."
Prosecutors say words can be weapons and Sawicki's conduct justified the charges.
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But his defense attorney says the victim was the aggressor.