An NYPD officer has been indicted on multiple charges, including assault, after he allegedly kicked a subdued citizen in the head during an arrest over the summer.
A video of the arrest allegedly shows Officer Joel Edouard, 37, and his partner arresting 32-year-old Jahmiel Cuffee, according to CBS New York.
Cuffee was allegedly drinking on a sidewalk in Brooklyn, and the officers claim he was in possession of marijuana at the time. While attempting to arrest Cuffee, a bystander began to videotape the incident with their cellphone. This video shows other officers begin to arrive to help mediate the situation, but near the end of the video, Edouard allegedly is seen stomping on Cuffee’s head after he was already handcuffed and on the ground.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said, according to RT, “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.” Thompson continued by saying this indictment should not reflect the work the majority of officers who perform their duty honorably are doing in New York City.
At the trial on Tuesday, Edouard’s attorney, Stephen Worth, pleaded not guilty to the charges he is faced with. Worth also said Edouard was simply trying to place handcuffs on Cuffee and this is no more than a case of an officer doing their job. “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… It’s not a kick, we’ll leave that for trial.”
After the incident, Edouard was stripped of his badge and gun according to New York Magazine. If convicted, Edouard could face up to a year in prison.