An Occupy Wall Street protester who was allegedly punched in the face by a high-ranking city police officer took his case to the Manhattan district attorney on Monday. NY1's Criminal Justice reporter Dean Meminger filed the following report.
It was a punch seen around the world on the Internet, when on October 14 Occupy Wall Street protester Felix Rivera-Pitre was seen on video being punched in the face by New York City Police Department Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona.
On Monday, the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. looked at the videos of the confrontation. Rivera-Pitre and his attorney, Ron Kuby, said they met with the DA's office and the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau for about two hours.
"Felix went through the video with them, frame by frame. Slow motion video, regular version video," said Kuby.
NYPD officials said the protester tried to elbow Cardona, when the officer cocked back and punched the man.
"I absolutely didn't. I didn't," said Rivera-Pitre.
Kuby said the video clearly shows the police supervisor was the aggressor as the protester tried to walk away.
"He wanted me to get on the sidewalk, he grabbed this arm and asked me to get on the sidewalk," said Rivera-Pitre. "There is a lot of of people and I said there is no sidewalk to get on. And he punched me."
Kuby said there is more video of the deputy inspector attacking other people, and claimed another video showed Cardona punching another protester. He said the DA's office is looking into it.
When NY1 reached out to the Manhattan District attorney's office, officials there said the district attorney does not comment on investigations and private meetings with attorneys and witnesses.
Kuby said Cardona should be put in handcuffs for the alleged assaults on protesters.
"Had it been any regular white guy, instead of any angry white shirt, had committed that attack, that person at best would be able to plead out to assault," said Kuby. "Three years' probation and some serious court-ordered anger manager."
Kuby said he is calling on the district attorney to investigate all allegations of officers attacking or roughing up Occupy Wall Street protesters.