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Prosecutors charged a police officer Tuesday with assault and other counts for violently shoving a protester in Brooklyn last month in an incident caught on camera.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said that Vincent D’Andraia, 28, of Brooklyn’s 73rd Precinct allegedly pushed Dounya Zayer to the street during the May 29 George Floyd protests near the Barclays Center.
Protesters and journalists covering the march caught the incident on camera, and the video soon went viral on social media.
According to the criminal complaint, Zayer was walking in the street when D’Andraia told her to move. As she went to ask the officer why she had to move, the officer allegedly smacked her cellphone out of her hand, then pushed her to the pavement.
The video shows Zayer rolling on the street into a nearby curb, as D’Andraia and other officers walked away. The victim reportedly suffered a seizure and a concussion.
Update: Got her permission with a fuck yeah. The cop pushed her so hard at Barclays & she flung back. She is tiny. Now she’s in the ER after a serious seizure. I’m waiting for updates but have to wait outside because of COVID-19. Please keep my protest sister in your thoughts. pic.twitter.com/MqV0QJ0D8h
— Whitney Hu 胡安行 – #CancelRent #TaxTheRich (@whitney_hu) May 30, 2020
“I fully support the long-held American tradition of non-violent protest. As District Attorney I cannot tolerate the use of excessive force against anyone exercising this Constitutionally guaranteed right,” Gonzalez said. “This is especially true of those who are sworn to protect us and uphold the law. I am deeply troubled by this unnecessary assault. We will now seek to hold this defendant accountable.”
The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau conducted an investigation into the shove last week. On June 5, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced that D’Andraia had been suspended without pay. The 73rd Precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Craig Edelman, was also reassigned.
D’Andraia is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Brooklyn Criminal Court on charges of third-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree harassment and third-degree menacing. The assault charge, a Class A misdemeanor in New York state, carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison.