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No Charges for Police Who Punched, Pepper-Sprayed Occupy Protesters
DA office says alarming videos not enough for conviction
Two NYPD officers who were filmed assaulting non-violent Occupy Wall Street protesters will not face any charges, New York District Attorney's Office announced late last week.
Of the two officers, Anthony Bologna was filmed in September 2011 spraying a group of non-violent Occupy Wall Street protestors who had been cordoned off and held behind a police screen barricade by other officers.
The video, once posted to YouTube, ignited widespread fury over the NYPD's handling of the Occupy protests.
The other officer, Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardonna, was filmed in October 2011 tapping a protester on the shoulder, turning him around, and punching him in the face.
The DA's office claims that the videos are not strong enough evidence of the obvious police brutality depicted: “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.”
In response to the DA's announcement, Kaylee Dedrick, one of the protesters pepper-sprayed by Bologna, said in a phone interview, “Part of me expected that he wouldn’t be prosecuted, but I’m still pretty shocked, with all the evidence against him.”
Her lawyer, Ron Kuby, who represents several protesters who are suing the inspectors, called the decision “cowardly and despicable.”
The Huffington Post reported on Tuesday that the city of New York will now represent Cardona in a seperate civil suit. Cardona is scheduled this week to meet with attorneys from the city’s Law Department to begin to map out his legal strategies.
Watch video of the two incidents below: