(JTA) – All charges have been dropped against a homeless man shown on a video being beaten by New York police officers at a Chabad-run youth center in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
“After review of all available evidence I have decided to dismiss the charges against Ehud Halevy, ” Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said in a statement Tuesday.
Halevy, 21, was arrested Oct. 8 after the police beating for assault, resisting arrest and trespassing. The charges will be dropped formally at a Wednesday court hearing, after which Halevy was expected to speak to the media (see the Jewish Week’s web site).
“This is the first step in the journey for justice for Ehud, with more to come,” said Halevy’s lawyer, Norman Siegel.
The New York Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit and the district attorney’s office are investigating the officers who beat Halevy.
A video of the arrest posted Oct. 14 on a Chabad web site shows Halevy exchanging words with a male police officer and pushing away his hands after the officer had taken out handcuffs. Shortly after, the cop assumes a fighting stance and punches Halevy several times as he and a female officer wrestle Halevy to the couch where he was found sleeping.
A volunteer security guard at the ALIYA Institute believed that Halevy was drunk, according to reports.
During the two-minute incident, the female officer appears to use a truncheon and pepper spray on Halevy. Eight police officers arrive later to handcuff him.
Halevy reportedly had been sleeping on the institute’s couch with permission for about a month.
Siegel, said that after the charges are dropped his client will consider civil action against the cops. Also, he is calling on the District Attorney to investigate whether the arresting officers committed a crime by claiming in a sworn criminal complaint hat Halevy committed assault.
“The complaint has numerous inaccuracies,” said Siegel.
“They allege he assaulted them and the video shows no evidence of that.”