Brooklyn DA indicts Third Cop in Three Months for Police Brutality
Police Officer Joel Edouard was indicted and arraigned on misdemeanor assault charges that stem from a July 23, 2014 incident where the police claimed Jahmil-El Cuffee was drinking alcohol in public and rolling a marihuana cigarette.
The incident was captured on cell phone video and was posted to the video sharing website “Youtube” and is embedded below. The video shows Officer Edouard struggling with Mr. Cuffee to get Mr. Cuffee under arrest. As is pictured above, the officer at one point pulls his gun during the encounter with the unarmed Cuffee. The video also shows Officer Edouard get off of Cuffee while other officers are attempting to restrain him, and then it is quite clear in the video at 1:40 that Officer Edouard comes back to the scene of the arrest and he kicks Cuffee in the back of the head while Cuffee is being restrained by other officers.
It appears from media reports that Mr. Cuffee’s case, where he wasn’t actually charged with marihuana possession, was dismissed in December. After Officer Edouard’s arraignment his lawyer, Stephen Worth – who specializes in representing police officers – told reporters that “The act, so-called kick, was part of the arrest process and to attempt to get his hand in custody so he could be handcuffed.” I would venture to say Mr. Worth either hasn’t watched the video, or has a perverse understanding of how cops are supposed to handle the “arrest process.”
Edouards is the third officer indicted in the last three months by the Brooklyn District Attorney. On November 5, 2014 Police officers David Afanador and Tyraine Isaac were arraigned on charges stemming from an incident that Officer Afanador is seen on surveillance video pistol wiping a young man that ran from the officers who observed him in possession of a small quantity of marihuana.
The Brooklyn District Attorney, Kenneth Thompson released a statement where he said, “Police officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us all safe. However, this defendant allegedly stomped on the head of a suspect as he lay on the ground, which is unacceptable for a police officer. While a serious matter, this indictment should not reflect on the great work being done throughout the city by the vast majority of police officers who perform their duties honorably.”