Brooklyn D.A. Drops Charges Against Man Beaten by Cops at Jewish Learning Center


Yesterday Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes dropped all criminal charges against Ehud Halevy, the man police accused of assault after beating him at a Jewish learning center in Crown Heights. Elaborating on earlier accounts, The New York Times explains that a volunteer at the Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults (ALIYA), where Halevy had been sleeping on a couch for a month, called police after encountering him in the center's lounge. The volunteer, who did not realize that ALIYA's director, Rabbi Moshe Feigli, had given Halevy permission to stay there, told the cops he was trespassing. That detail helps explain why Officers Luis A. Vega and Yelena Bruzzese did not believe Halevy's claim to be an invited guest. But it does not explain the violence that followed, which featured Vega "assuming a boxer's stance and punching Mr. Halevy in the head in successive blows" and Bruzzese "striking Mr. Halevy with a baton for more than two minutes." Nor does it explain why Vega and Bruzzese lied about the encounter, saying Halevy had attacked them, when in fact he merely pulled his arm away after Bruzzese and Vega grabbed it in an attempt to force him out of the building.

Had the beating not been recorded by a surveillance camera, Halevy probably would still be facing up to five years in prison for assaulting a police officer, plus various misdemeanor charges. The Times reports that Halevy's lawyer, Norman Siegel, "asked the district attorney to bring criminal charges against the two officers, pointing out that it was a misdemeanor for the police to make 'false statements.'" Vega is on restricted duty while the D.A. and the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau investigate the incident. At a press conference last week, Rabbi Feigli, who called himself "a great supporter of the New York Police Department," wondered "how many other times New Yorkers are charged with serious crimes and there's no video camera to tell the story."


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  1. Just remember there are honorable pigs out there. It’s just that they are in a parallel universe.

    1. ANd not in this one:



      Elliott Gabriel, 28, is a member of Todo Poder al Pueblo Collective, a local group that has rallied this year against what it calls Oxnard police brutality. He said some neighbors saw police shoot ?Limon as he was trying to cooperate. He said people are traumatized and angered by the ?incident.

  2. Norman Siegel, “asked the district attorney to bring criminal charges against the two officers, pointing out that it was a misdemeanor for the police to make ‘false statements.'”

    How about charging them with fucking assault?

    1. No kidding. Its textbook assault, probably with a raft of enhancers.

      Let’s assume that this arrest would have been valid, based on what the officers knew (and didn’t know) at the time.

      That only gives them license to use reasonable force to make the arrest. Anything beyond that is assault.

      A decent human being might have tried to talk to the man for a minute, say “Hey, look, all we know is that you’re not supposed to be here. Come with us to the station, because this here volunteer doesn’t want you here. We’ll get the rabbi on the phone, and if he says you’re good, we’ll have a squad run you back.”

      Nope, they go straight for the grab, and then the beatdown. I mean, even under the most favorable interpretation, giving Officer Golden Gloves the benefit of every doubt, I see absolutely no justification whatsoever for Officer Nightstick getting his rocks off here.

      Assault, straight up. You could go deadly weapon, depending on local statutes (has anyone ever been charged with AWD for using a bat in NYC? Bet so.). While carrying a gun. Under color of authority. Bound to be a few others.

      1. Despite the nasty beat down, I think the ‘false statement’ charge would be the one most likely to stick. A judge may not give a rat’s ass about the homeless guy, but he’ll care that the cops lied on their report and, consequently, fully intended on lying in his court room.

        1. Oh, sure, throw in false statements, but there is no reason not to charge assault with all the trimmings.

          1. Yes, agreed.

            And I have an idea for getting the police to watch their behavior. When someone sues their police department and wins, instead of the money coming out of the city, I want to see it come out of the police department’s retirement fund.

            1. Yeah. I’d like to see a city change their law and apply this, or make it a part of their collective bargaining. At the least, it would expose the cops when they refuse to agree to any level of personal responsibility in their contract negotiations.

              1. That is a great idea. If you wish to change a culture and crack the blue wall, this would probably work.
                Once they have to start weighing their personal comfort after retirement against an idiot co-worker’s current behavior, there’s a much better chance they’ll step in, grab the wrist wielding the baton, and say “Fuck no.” If there truly is a danger requiring serious violence, they’ll happily risk the possible hit to their pension.
                As long as someone else is paying the bills, why would you care how many there are?

      2. We’ll get the rabbi on the phone, and if he says you’re good, we’ll have a squad run you back.”

        Where’s the expression of Authority in that?

  3. People do not just become depraved. This was not the first time this bastard had beaten the shit out of someone and framed him for assaulting an officer.

    1. He definitely looked like he knew what he was doing.

  4. I lost count around the 11th or so cop to come gasping into the room. Apparently Brooklyn has plenty of doughnut shops.

  5. Has dunphy shown his disgusting face today, by the way?

    1. Yeah, he was peddling the video of the good dog shooting on another thread.

      1. He is really on a roll with the violence porn lately.

      2. Sounds like a threat to me.

  6. Here’s PoliceOne’s take on the incident.

    CAUTION: Comments are fucking insane.

    Ex. As long as the officers involved in the use of force thought it was reasonable at the time the force was used, I’m ok with it.

    Maybe not what I would have done, but the officer did go home at the end of shift and thats whats important.

    That’s right. As long as he felt it was necessary and he gets to go home, an officer is free to do whatever he wants.

    What a bunch of pricks.

    1. Simple analysis:

      Were the officers’ actions objectively reasonable under a totality of the circumstances?

      Answer: Yes. End of story. All the talk about a better way of handling it might be OK from a training perspective but these cops did what needed to be done and they prevailed, not the turd. Some of you sound like plaintiff attorneys!


      I would like to have seen a hair grab with a knee to the head. We don’t slug it out very much because we all have Tasers and our political environment likes to see a non-violent resolution. I should have been a firefighter.

      Classy. (By the way, these are just from the first page. I’m not cherry-picking)

      1. Was the level of force appropriate, yes; was the force used appropriate, not at all. We don’t square up with suspects and he’ll most likely be disciplined for his actions. Next time I come across a suspect passively resisting, I’m going to kick him in the throat!

        What. The. Fuck.

        1. This guy clearly was actively resisting, NOT passively resisting. They tried to use control holds initially, and he continuously backed up and pulled away. Many people stated how bad it looked when the officer “squared up” with him. I clearly saw the suspect square up with the officer, after resisting arrest, and put his hands up in front of him in a fighting stance. It is very possible that this stance was what the officer felt appropriate and efficient to defend himself. Remember, the “position of avantage” stance is meant to give an officer a platform to defend him/herself against a POSSIBLE sudden attack. This guy made his intentions known through his body language, and the officer needed to prepare to defend himself. Even after the officer struck this guy quite a few times, and was on top of him, the suspect struck the officer in the face (approx 3:09), and continued grabbing for his throat and face. Sometimes the skinny guys can be hard to get ahold of too. There are alot of people criticizing the tactics here. I have been in quite a few scuffles with smaller people that are extremely hard to get ahold of, and I am very fit individual who has lifted weights consistently for over 20 years. This guy made his own decision as to how this would turn out, when he decided to resist arrest and square up with the officers. There was continuous resistance the entire time. Please watch the entire video again, and more closely if you are not seeing it.

          1. If it weren’t for the capitol letters, I’d say Dunphy wrote that one.

          2. ^^This^^ is almost every cop I’ve ever come in contact with in a nutshell. The man didn’t raise a finger until he was getting the shit beat out of him, and then only to prevent the cops from killing him, yet this officer manages to turn it around and justify what is an unprovoked and violent attack.

            These people are fucking animals that have been let off their leashes. And just like a rabid dog, there are very few solutions. In my opinion, their entire apparatus need to be metaphorically put down.

            1. …I would like to have seen a hair grab with a knee to the head. We don’t slug it out very much because we all have Tasers and our political environment likes to see a non-violent resolution.

              I am very rarely speechless, but …

              Now I understand that when cops talk of never having shot a person, they’re doing so with regret!!!!!!

      2. Love the way lighting someone up with a Taser is a “non-violent resolution” to these goons.

    2. Maybe not what I would have done, but the officer did go home at the end of shift and thats whats important.

      Because our job is to never under any condition make any sacrifice of our personal safety to do our jobs.

      That is what makes us heros. God I fucking hate those people.

      1. Officer safety uber alles. What a bunch of pricks.

      2. Exactly. There is a word for someone willing to sacrifice other people to guarantee their own safety, but that word is not “hero”.

  7. The call that a “boxer’s stance”? Since when do boxers stand with their knees locked?

    1. I recall seeing Michael Spinx use that stance.

  8. Where’s PantsFan? I just came up with his solution to the NHL work stoppage.

    He ought to just do a ride-along every night* the Oilers would have had a game. That way, he’ll get both the violence* and the disappointment at the end of the night he would have gotten from a hockey game.

    *May only apply in an American city.

  9. He appears to be Jewish. And he definitely learned a few things.

    So I guess it’s a Win-Win, right?

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