Monday, April 22, 2013

 

No charges for NYPD cops filmed punching, pepper-spraying Occupy protesters


Two New York City Police officers will not face charges after the Manhattan District Attorney decided that widely circulated videos of them punching and pepper-spraying protesters amounted to insufficient evidence that they had done so.

Anthony Bologna, the now-infamous NYPD inspector, was filmed in September 2011 spraying a group of female Occupy Wall Street protestors who had already been isolated and immobilized by a screen held by other officers. The video, which received well over a million views online and was skewered on late night television, became emblematic of the brutality endured by OWS demonstrators who found themselves on the receiving end of aggressive police tactics.

In the same statement, quietly issued on the Friday that came at the end of the heavy news week that included the Boston Marathon bombings, the District Attorney’s Office announced no charges would be filed against Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardonna. Cardonna was filmed in October 2011 punching protestor Felix Rivera-Pitra seemingly without provocation.

“The District Attorney’s Office has concluded, after a thorough investigation, that we cannot prove these allegations criminally beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Erin M. Duggan, the chief spokeswoman for District Attorney Cy Vance. “We have informed the Police Department, the complainants, and the City of our decision.”

Cardonna was not disciplined by the NYPD for his actions, while Bologna was stripped of 10 vacation days and reassigned to a post on Staten Island. Bologna is also being sued in a civil court by the nonviolent women he pepper-sprayed, where he’ll be represented by city lawyers, according to DNA Info.

“It was clear from the evidence that their actions were not justified,” a “source with knowledge of the prosecutor’s decision” told Gothamist. “These two were on-duty members of law enforcement, reacting during a chaotic scene that included much more than the short video clips that most people have seen.
Shortly after the second incident the NYPD claimed that Rivera-Pitra had tried to elbow Cardonna before the police officer lunged at him. Rivera-Pitra, whose earring was torn off in the assault, later came forward to advise Cardonna to get tested for HIV.

While some media outlets have implied that the DA’s refusal to pursue both officers indicates professional favoritism, law experts said the decision could be based on the difficulty of prosecuting cops in American courts. Former Manhattan prosecutor Thomas J. Curran, speaking to The New York Times, admitted that it’s difficult for prosecutors to convict police personnel because using force is “part of their job.”

“The use of force would have to be a complete departure from any legitimate police activity,” said Curran, who now practices as a defense lawyer. “You’d have to show an intent to assault, and you have to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, as opposed to using force as allowed pursuant to police activity. It’s very difficult to do.”

But that refusal to hold police accountable is what still surprised Kaylee Dedrick nearly two years after she was pepper-sprayed by Inspector Bologna. Dedrick’s lawyer told the Times that the DA’s decision was “cowardly and despicable.”

“Part of me expected that he wouldn’t be prosecuted, but I’m still pretty shocked, with all the evidence against him,” Dedrick said.



Tags : , , , ,

Share

Social

The idea behind the text.
Respect for the truth is almost the basis of all morality.
Nothing can come from nothing.



Follow

Popular Topics

Read

Well, the way they make shows is, they make one show. That show's called a pilot. Then they show that show to the people who make shows, and on the strength of that one show they decide if they're going to make more shows.

Like you, I used to think the world was this great place where everybody lived by the same standards I did, then some kid with a nail showed me I was living in his world, a world where chaos rules not order, a world where righteousness is not rewarded. That's Cesar's world, and if you're not willing to play by his rules, then you're gonna have to pay the price.

You think water moves fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder. After the avalanche, it took us a week to climb out. Now, I don't know exactly when we turned on each other, but I know that seven of us survived the slide... and only five made it out. Now we took an oath, that I'm breaking now. We said we'd say it was the snow that killed the other two, but it wasn't. Nature is lethal but it doesn't hold a candle to man.

You see? It's curious. Ted did figure it out - time travel. And when we get back, we gonna tell everyone. How it's possible, how it's done, what the dangers are. But then why fifty years in the future when the spacecraft encounters a black hole does the computer call it an 'unknown entry event'? Why don't they know? If they don't know, that means we never told anyone. And if we never told anyone it means we never made it back. Hence we die down here. Just as a matter of deductive logic.