A New York attorney is demanding justice against the police officer who is responsible for more than one Occupy Wall Street assault against protestors. Ron Kuby, a criminal defense attorney, specializes in police brutality and is appalled at the behavior of white shirts during the NYC protests.
After Friday’s incident where white shirt Johnny Cardona appeared to have sucker punched an HIV-positive protestor, Kuby sent a letter to the district attorney, Cyrus Vance, demanding the department conduct a “full, complete and lengthy investigation.” The event in question is one in which you see a tall, thin male in a green shirt appear to swing around, and then Cardona punches him. Chaos ensues, and several videos popped up showing the alleged assault. Controversy over whether the victim, Felix Rivera-Pitre, slapped or otherwise instigated the violence first has littered the web, with folks saying they can “clearly” see he slapped the officer and therefore, deserved to be cold cocked.
Other, more reasonable people, realize that no matter your position in the police force, punching someone is unacceptable, no matter what. Another, lesser-known video of the incident popped up, where the theory that Pitre started it is debunked. Cardona, it becomes clear, followed Pitre, spun him around, and punched him. At the beginning of the video, you see Pitre walking, Cardona reaches out his left hand, grabs Pitre’s arm and swings. Pitre attempts to lean away and closes his eyes instinctively to avoid the blow.
These are not actions of a man looking for a fight, despite what some might say. Because of this video, and others like it, Kuby is convinced this is a clear case of a police officer overstepping the boundary from protecting and serving into abusing and oppressing.
Reports from the police tell a different story that happened prior to what you see on the video. The NYPD is claiming that Pitre elbowed the officer, and when he tried to get up, he was jumped by the crowde and sprayed with an unknown substance. Interestingly, no footage of this particular incident has popped up on the internet. And regardless of whether this happened or not, Kuby maintains Cardona’s actions were reprehensible and inexcusable for an officer of the law.
Ron Kuby isn’t just some lowly attorney. Kuby argued some of the most infamous cases in recent history. In fact, he represented Darryl Cabey, one of the shooting victims of subway gunman Bernie Goetz, garnering a $43 million settlement against his assailant. Cabey sustained injuries lthat resulted in permanent brain damage and paraplegia. Cabey was shot by Goetz when he and three others attempted to mug Goetz, sparking controversy over vigilantism and gun laws. Kuby is also active in civil rights, so it really comes as no surprise that he has taken an interest in the case against Johnny Cardona.
Whatever reason for the punch, one thing remains clear: Johnny Cardona needs anger management therapy.
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Â©2011 Reno Berkeley for Gather News.