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October 18, 2012 1:54 pm

Officers in NYPD Beating Case Need to be Charged With Lying Under Oath

avatar by Eliyahu Federman

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The Jewish youth is beaten after resisting arrest.

A homeless man sleeping at a Jewish youth center in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, was roused from his sleep, wrongly accused of trespassing, then repeatedly and violently pummeled by the police after he jerked his hands and held them behind his back in an effort to non-violently avoid being handcuffed.

The homeless man was then falsely accused of causing the officer to suffer a “sprained wrist, bruises, swelling and scrapes” all resulting in the fabricated charges of “felony count of assault on police officers and three misdemeanors: resisting arrest, obstruction and criminal trespass.”

The following video shows police officer Luis A. Vega flying into an uncontrolled animalistic rage against the homeless Ehud Halevy while Officer Vega’s partner Yelena Bruzzese batters the non-threatening man with a truncheon. Any “sprained wrist, bruises, swelling and scrapes” on the officers were caused by their own violence and overreaction not Mr. Halevy’s conduct.

The lapse of judgment, fit of rage, on the part of the police is inexcusable, but what is even more shocking is what follows the vicious beating: a cold-hearted, fabricated police complaint accusing Mr. Halevy of crimes he never committed. Had a video not revealed the truth, Mr. Halevy could very easily be languishing in prison for crimes he never committed.

The complaint portrays a scenario that completely contradicts the video of the incident. The complaint boldly asserts that Mr. Halev was “swinging … [his] … fists and flailing … [his] … arms … striking …[the police] … about the body.” The video shows Mr. Halevy passively attempting to avoid being handcuffed after he jerks his hands in the air. The police then beat him while he’s curled up in a limp fetal position.

In terms of the charge of resisting arrest, New York Penal Law 205.30 requires that an arrest be authorized and lawful for one to be charged with the crime of resisting arrest. In other words, “[i]f the police made an unlawful arrest and you refuse to be handcuffed during that unauthorized arrest, then the charge of Resisting Arrest, pursuant to New York Penal Law 205.30, is not sustainable.” Since it was determined that Mr. Halevy was not trespassing, he cannot be charged with resisting a trespassing-related arrest because the underlying arrest was determined to be unlawful.

The charges against Mr. Halevy need to be summarily dismissed and the police officers involved need to be charged with lying under oath and falsely accusing someone of a crime. If not for the video camera replaying the truth, the officers’ lies could have led to the imprisonment of an innocent man and the cover-up of a brutal beating.

Let’s hope the NYPD seeks to restore their tattered relationship with the citizens of Crown Heights and hold their own rotten apples accountable.

The writer is a graduate of the City University of New York School of Law, where he served as an executive editor of the law review. He has advocated for gender equality, sexual abuse awareness and better police-community relations in Crown Heights.

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  • sharona

    I would like someone (PLEASE) to help Ehud Halevy sue the pants off the NYPD. Please. Because this is going nowhere with these lying policemen.

    The video speaks for itself.

    The night watchman says now he would not have called the police had he known:
    1) that Ehud was allowed to be there
    2) that the NYPD were going to beat him up.

    A simple phone call to the rabbi would have prevented this.

  • rofedoc

    I am all for “Law and Order” but…this crossed the line

    The two police officers in the video I viewed and the latest light shed upon the true story prompt me to say “suspend or dismiss both officers for lying , false arrest, and use of excessive force” They disgrace the NYPD

  • A REAL American

    Great article.

    I was absolutely appalled by this video. It was representative of another time and place, not the modern NYPD.

    It is clear from the video that Halevy did not instigate the violence. There was no reason for the police officer to “put up his dukes” assuming a fighting position and immediately without hesitation start to continuously pummel Halevy after Halevy refused to be put in handcuffs.

    swinging a hammer in the air
    and 9 shots killed him
    because the punk cops
    didnt want to shoot at his legs
    a 6 month karate student could have taken the hammer away

    a hostage professional could’ve talked him down….

    9 shots practice….
    gideon busch A’H
    Halevy is lucky to be alive….

    WE Are free
    its time we started shouting
    …and crying to HASHEM AT THE SAME TIME

  • Lawrence kulak

    Of course they should be prosecuted for lying and everything else. But unless the real issue is adressed, I can assure you that any punishment will be watered down. The real issue is that the police should not be looking to make arrests when they don’t have to. We saw this a few months ago when the petite Lubavitcher teacher was arrested for striking a sixteen year old girl who had thrown a bottle at one of her students. If nobody was hurt why make arrests, except to pad the stats and inflame the public? Why is the NYPD so eager to inflame the public by arresting innocent people and spreading terror and fear about their tactics. In the cae of tresspassing which is at hand here, my understanding is that an officer has the discretion to simply ask the person to leave which is what should have been done here. The belligerant attitude of this possibly disturbed person should not have been a factor in whether to arrest him. There was evidence of a misunderstanding and that should have been the primary criteria that the police used in determining whether or not he should have been cuffed or merely escorted out the door. This is systemic abuse by the police force in general who are simply looking to arrest as many people as possible. If you ask me the reason for this I believe it is because they are doing it as a protest for they themselves being handcuffed by judges and politicians when it comes to apprehending real crime.

    • Aurora Aronsson

      There was absolutely NO “belligerant attitude” on the part of the poor guy ATTACKED BY THE POLICE. Watch the video and stop lying!
      A violent thug wearing a police uniform posing as Carlos Monzon in front of a man with his hand behind his back is CERTAINLY more disturbed than the innocent citizen, and Monzon’s Italian partner in uniform showed how close to sadism she is by getting an iron instrument to hit the young man.
      Where’ these people’s respect for others and for human life and integrity?