Cops caught pepper-spraying, punching Occupy Wall Street protesters will not be prosecuted: DA
Kaylee Dedrick of Brooklyn kneels as friends flush her eyes with water after she was pepper-sprayed on 12th St. near University Pl. during an Occupy Wall Street march on Sept. 24, 2011. NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna (top rt., in white, and inset) looks on .
The Manhattan District Attorney will not prosecute a pair of high-ranking cops seen on video pepper-spraying and punching Occupy Wall Street protesters more than a year ago, they said Friday.
NYPD Deputy Inspectors Anthony Bologna and Johnny Cardona came under fire after videos of their alleged misconduct surfaced in late 2011.
Bologna was seen firing the crowd-control spray liberally at a seemingly calm group of people near Union Square on Sept. 24, and protester Felix Rivera-Pitre was slugged in the face by Cardona on Oct. 14 during a demonstration in the financial district.
“After a thorough investigation ... we cannot prove these allegations criminally beyond a reasonable doubt,” said the DA’s chief spokeswoman, Erin Duggan.
A law enforcement source said it was not clear to investigators that the cops’ actions were unjustified, based on additional evidence they studied.
Roy Richter, president of the Captains Endowment Association, lauded the decision. He called Cardona, who had hip- and knee-replacement surgery from injuries sustained during demonstrations, “a true victim of the (OWS) fiasco” and said Bologna “did nothing that rises to the level of criminal conduct.”
But lawyer Ron Kuby, who represents victims in both cases and called for assault charges against the pair, blasted the DA for not acting and taking “almost 19 months to decide he would do nothing.”
“Despite the overwhelming proof on videotape, seen around the world, Cy Vance Jr. has shown that it he will do nothing to disturb his cozy relationship with the police, even in the face of the clearest wrongdoing,” Kuby said.
Lawsuits against the city, police department and the cops involved stemming from both incidents are pending.
Bologna was docked 10 vacation days in the spraying incident, and Cardona was cleared by the department.