Last week, a video hit the internet in which an unarmed man was mercilessly beaten by two NYPD officers inside of a Crown Heights community center. As outrageous as the violence itself was the fact that the man was facing five criminal charges after the incident, including felony assault of a police officer, for which he was facing up to seven years in prison.
Yesterday, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes dropped all charges against Halevy, at the urging of Councilman David G. Greenfield and a change.org petition that garnered some 135,000 signatures. “I am grateful that District Attorney Charles Hynes has done the right thing and dismissed the trumped up charges filed against Ehud Halevy, both for the sake of this innocent victim and to restore the community’s confidence in our criminal justice system,” said Greenfield. “It was clear that the rogue officers involved in this outrageous incident only filed those charges in the first place to cover up their beating of an innocent and defenseless man that night.”
All of this is very good news, but justice will not truly be served until the two officers face some sort of punishment for their violent actions (to his credit, Councilman Greenfield is calling for them to be fired). We also can’t help but wonder whether the charges would have been dropped so swiftly had a black man been in Halevy’s place.
Watch the original surveillance footage of the beating here.