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Jewish Man Beaten By NYPD Files Civil Rights Suit

Ehud Halevy, the 21-year-old Jewish man from Brooklyn whose beating by NYPD was caught on videotape, has filed a civil rights lawsuit.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 1/23/2013, 10:52 PM

NYPD officers
NYPD officers
Reuters

Ehud Halevy, the 21-year-old Jewish man from Brooklyn whose beating by New York police officers was caught on videotape, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the officers responsible for the attack.

Halevy filed the lawsuit against officers Luis Vega and Yelena Bruzzese on Jan. 22 in Brooklyn federal court, accusing them of attacking him at a Jewish youth center in Crown Heights.

The surveillance video from October 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.

While Halevy claimed he had been granted permission to sleep at the center, he had nonetheless been charged with a felony count of assault and three misdemeanors: resisting arrest, obstruction and criminal trespass.

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

Halevy's attorney, Norman Siegel, said Halevy is currently receiving counseling for pain and trauma suffered from the incident.

"For all the New Yorkers who saw the video, when you see it, you want to put your hands over your eyes because very rarely do you see this kind of stark video of police brutality," Siegel said, according to local reports.

The New York City Law Department said it will review papers related to the case.