Assault charges against a Brooklyn fruit vendor were dropped after a video emerged showing that an NYPD officer was kicking him in the stomach.
According to the Brooklyn Paper, the unnamed officer had filed a deposition claiming that he’d seen the vendor, Jonathan Daza, assaulting a group of cops with his sister after they came to break up their shops (his permit had expired).
However, the charges against Daza — including resisting arrest — were formally dropped after a cellphone video emerged showing officer Vincent Ciardiello kicking Daza in the face without provocation. Furthermore, the cop who had filed the deposition never witnessed Daza assault any officers.
For some reason, however, the Dazas’s case languished for five months:
The county dismissed charges against Daza. A grand jury declined to indict Wendy Daza, who was charged with assaulting a police officer, Heinegg said. Police later backpedaled, according to the Jan. 22 memo, claiming they meant to accuse Cindy Daza — not Wendy — of shoving an officer to the ground. Prosecutors told Heinegg they plan to drop charges against Wendy at her next court date in March, Heinegg said.
But the cases somehow dragged on for five months, despite the fact that the prosecutors had seen the exonerating video that showed the police deposition was false, according to Heinegg.
“They seem to have completely ignored the video at first, although the [assistant district attorney] confirmed to me that he’d seen it,” she said. “It wasn’t until I submitted a motion and the video to the court and the ADA’s supervisors that they looked into it and came up with the memo.”