New York police in Queens are investigating an allegation that a police officer struck a New York Supreme Court justice in the throat. State Supreme Court justice Thomas D. Raffaele, 69, says that he was moving some furniture from his parents’ home when he stopped to see why a crowd had formed on the street. The crowd was jeering an officer who was arresting a man and was being criticized for being too rough. Raffaele says the officer became irate and charged the hecklers — hitting people with his baton including the judge.
The judge picked out the officer’s picture in the later investigation.
The question is whether this should be treated not just as a matter for the civilian review board but a criminal matter. Any citizen who beats people on the street would be arrested for assault and battery. Heckling an officer is not a crime. Unless the officer can show that someone threw something at him or physically threatened him, it is hard to see the possible defense to such a charge.
No reports of arrests or charges have been reported. Notably, this includes the man on the ground who was being arrested. The man, Charles Memminger, 47, is a homeless man and showed extensive bruising on this back where the officer was seen kneeing him (and causing the criticism of the crowd).
Source: NY Times