Daily Israel Report

DA's Office Confirms: All Charges Dropped Against Ehud Halevy

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office announced that it has dropped all criminal charges against Ehud Halevy.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 10/23/2012, 12:57 PM

NYPD officers
NYPD officers
Reuters

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office announced that it has dropped all criminal charges against Ehud Halevy, the 21 year-old Jewish man who was beaten by two NYPD officers inside a Jewish community center in Brooklyn.

Halevy was charged with a felony count of assault and three misdemeanors: resisting arrest, obstruction and criminal trespass, although video footage captured by security cameras seem to grant little validity to the charges.

Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, informed Halevy’s attorney, Norman Siegel, of his decision to drop the charges during an afternoon meeting, and issued a short statement announcing the dismissal of the charges.

“We are very pleased,” Siegel said. “Justice was done.”

Siegel said he had asked the district attorney to bring criminal charges against the two NYPD officers, claiming that it was a misdemeanor for the police to make “false statements.”

The New York City Police Department and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office both launched separate investigations into the incident. Hynes did not say whether he would take any action against the officers, but affirmed that the investigations would continue.

The charges against Halevy are expected to be formally dropped during a court hearing Wednesday morning, Siegel said.

The surveillance video, taken by a camera in the lounge of the Jewish community center, showed one of the officers punching Halevy repeatedly in the head, while another officer struck Halevy with a baton for over two minutes.

The officers, who were responding to an emergency phone call, said Halevy was sleeping naked on a couch in the lounge and refused to leave.

Rabbi Moishe Feiglin, director at the outreach center, said Halevy had been given permission to sleep at the center and had been spending nights there for about a month.

The video led to widespread condemnation from Jewish community leaders, including a petition that had garnered approximately 10,000 signatures by Monday, October 22—one day before the news that the charges had been dropped.

Several hundred protesters also rallied in support of Halevy in Crown Heights, Brookly last week, chanting “Stop police brutality, drop the charges now.”