Five months after a video of a city cop sucker-kicking a cuffed Sunset Park street vendor went viral, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office quietly dropped assault and resisting arrest charges against the man, his lawyer said.
According to The Brooklyn Paper:
Police arrested Jonathan Daza on Sept. 14 following a dustup over his failure to move his fruit-stand once a street fair permit expired.
But a bystander’s cellphone video shows officer Vincent Ciardiello kicking Daza in the back while Daza was on the ground and restrained by other officers. The video got the officer into hot water with the department and helped exonerate Daza and two family members who were also arrested, the family’s attorney said.
“In November, the [assistant district attorney] on the case put in an affirmation swearing on facts that clearly hadn’t happened, because there’s a video of the thing,” said Rebecca Heinegg, who represented Daza and his two sisters.
Daza told NY1 he’s happy the video proved his innocence.“I was just nervous, scared. I was worried. I thought they were going to do something else,” he said. “I reallynever been through this. It was my first time that that this happened to me.”
The case is one of a series of police brutality matters in which video of the NYPD’s behavior during an arrest was proven false.
Ciardiello was briefly suspended but is reportedly back on the NYPD force.
The DA’s office has not commented.
— Nikhita Venugopal (@nkvenugopal) September 18, 2014