The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office just announced that it has dropped all charges against a Crown Heights man who was roughed up by an NYPD officer earlier this month for no apparent reason.
“After review of all available evidence I have decided to dismiss the charges against Ehud Halevy,” Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes says in a statement issued moments ago.
Halevy, as we reported last week, got the crap kicked out of him by an NYPD officer during a two-minute-long beat-down — during which he was punched in the head, pepper-sprayed, and beaten with a club. Following the beat down, Halevy was hit with a felony charge of assaulting a police officer, as well as four misdemeanor charges and four violations, including trespassing, resisting arrest, and harassment.
Halevy’s crime: sleeping on a couch at a synagogue and outreach center for troubled youth in Crown Heights. He had permission to be there, and had been staying there for about a month.
Luckily, the beating was caught on tape (embedded above), which clearly shows that Halevi never assaulted anyone. Nor was he trespassing — or harassing anyone. He was asleep.
The incident prompted local pols to question how many similar beatings — and BS criminal charges — occur but are never questioned; in most cases, it’s the word of a suspected criminal versus that of a cop — a scenario where the cop wins almost every time.
“If not for the clear evidence of this video, we might believe that Mr. Halevi had committed the crime he was accused of, which included assaulting an officer of the law,” says Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, an Orthodox Jew who represents Brooklyn. “But the video proves this was a lie. How many similar claims by law enforcement officers are equally fictitious?”
We sent the Brooklyn D.A. an email asking whether any decision has been made to charge the officer who dished out the beating with any crimes. We’re yet to hear back.
Check back for updates.
*UPDATE*: The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office says it’s yet to decide whether to charge the officer with any crimes. “It’s still an investigation,” a D.A. spokesperson tells the Voice.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 22, 2012