Two New York City police officers have been suspended without pay after video surfaced of them punching a suspect who was handcuffed and lying on the ground.
The video, obtained by the New York Daily News, shows officers John Cicero and William Green repeatedly hitting Johnathan Baez in the head. Baez was one of eight men apprehended during an undercover drug sting gone awry in the Bronx on Jan. 5.
“This is not an isolated incident,” Baez’ lawyer, Jeffrey Emdin, said. “What sets this apart is that it was caught on tape.”
Baez was initially charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, but the charges have been dropped, the New York Times reports. It’s not known yet if the two officers involved will be charged. Two supervising officers who were on the scene and did not prevent the attack on Baez have been placed on desk duty.
Two other NYPD officers were injured during the Jan. 5 drug bust, when one of the officers opened fire on a charging pit bull. The shrapnel from the bullet wounded two officers.
A friend of Baez, Louis Miranda, told the New York Post that he too was assaulted by officers, and that in his case the violence was “even worse” than what was caught on film.
Both Baez and Miranda plan to sue the police department.
This video is from Daily News, posted to the Web Jan. 22, 2010.