NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The young man whose wild confrontation with police was videotaped told his side of the story Wednesday, the day criminal charges against him were formally dropped.
Ehud Halevy walked out of a Brooklyn courthouse relieved.
“I am pleased that charges were dropped,” the 21-year-old told CBS 2’s John Slattery.
Halevy had faced a series of charges, including trespass and assault, following an encounter with two police officers at a Crown Heights youth center. Police were called by a security guard who didn’t know Halevy was allowed to be there. The shirtless man, as seen in the video, who was awakened by police, said he tried to explain his situation to the officers.
“The officer wouldn’t listen to me. I swat at him. He tried to handcuff me. I pulled my arm away and then he started hitting me,” Halevy said.
One officer pummeled him with some 20 punches, and his partner, a woman, joined in with a baton.
“It was a very un-positive experience, and I wouldn’t want to go through that experience, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else,” Halevy said.
Halevy’s attorney, Norman Siegel, credited the security cameras with exposing the truth.
“If it wasn’t for the dramatic video, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Siegel said.
However, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said it wasn’t so much the video, as the fact that a Rabbi who runs the center had given Halevy permission. So there was no trespass.
“It absolutely wasn’t the case. He wasn’t trespassing. He’d been living in our center for a month,” Rabbi Moishe Feiglin said.
The two officers had signed a complaint that they were assaulted. That’s now being investigated by the District Attorney Hynes and by NYPD Internal Affairs.
It was certainly a reversal of fortune for the two officers who claimed assault. They are now being investigated themselves.
If convicted of assault, Halevy could have gotten up to seven years in prison.
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