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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jewish Victim of NYPD beating, Ehud Halevy, now calls for discipline for officer caught on camera hitting him

The Brooklyn man who was pummeled by two officers in a Jewish youth center — only to find himself charged in the case — is now calling on prosecutors to probe the cops.

Charges against Ehud Halevy were formally dropped by Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes Wednesday, but the victim of the alleged beating by Officer Luis Vega made the demand in his first public appearance since the Oct. 8 religious center incident.

"I'm pleased that the charges been dropped," said Halevy, 21. "I think he (Vega) should be disciplined."

Halevy offered few details about the incident, saying he was dazed when Officer Vega and his partner roused him from a deep sleep in the Crown Heights center. The cops told him to leave, but Halevy refused and cursed at the officers.

That’s when Vega started swinging, hitting Halevy with a barrage of punches as his partner Yelena Bruzzese struck the victim with a police baton.

The attack was captured in a video that went viral, prompting 100,000 signatures on a petition to clear Halevy. Hynes said Tuesday that "the video really wasn't relevant to the decision” to drop the charges because Halevy was staying at the Jewish center with permission.

The officers said Halevy made threats and then caused them to suffer injuries — although he didn't appear to fight back in the tape.

Halevy’s lawyer, Norman Siegel, said the video is the reason Halevy is free - but other victims of alleged police brutality aren’t so lucky.

"The difference here is the dramatic videotape," Siegel said.

In many cases, he added, false allegations by police that are not refuted by taped evidence are allowed to stand.

"What happened to Ehud, I believe today, is not the exception and I'm sad to say that," Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) added.

Vega is on desk duty while Internal Affairs probes his conduct.


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