Victims of police brutality may seek justice for their injuries in several ways. One is through a civil lawsuit. In some other cases, prosecutors may file criminal charges against police officers who assault or abuse other people. It appears that some people who alleged they were harmed by police brutality during the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests will not find justice through criminal charges. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced that two New York Police Department officers will not face criminal allegations.
Prosecutors launched an investigation launched after two officers were filmed taking part in altercations during Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. One officer was filmed using pepper spray on a group in the streets in September 2011. The group was corralled behind orange netting that police used for crowd control. That video went viral online and helped boost the Occupy Wall Street movement.
A protester accused the other officer of punching him and ripping out his earring. Police said that protesters had spread the officer in the face with a liquid and that the punched protestor had tried to elbow the officer in the face. Video shows the officer lunging at the protester.
The lack of criminal charges leaves protestors with the option of a civil lawsuit. A woman who was pepper sprayed has filed a federal lawsuit; the protester involved in the other altercation also has legal representation. Their attorney says he will ask the federal government to investigate.
Source: NBC New York, “2 NYPD Officials Won’t Be Charged in Occupy Pepper Spray, Punch Incidents,” April 19, 2013
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