On Tuesday, Joel Edouard, an officer with the New York Police Department, appeared in Brooklyn Supreme Court on a misdemeanor charge of assault and an official misconduct charge for apparently stomping a subdued suspect in the head on July 23.
Jahmiel Cuffee was allegedly consuming alcohol and rolling a joint on the sidewalk. Cuffee allegedly tossed the contraband when he saw officers approaching and then resisted arrest. After other officers had subdued Cuffee on the ground, Edouard kicked him in the head.
Cuffee was ultimately arrested for attempting to tamper with evidence, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, but all charges against him have been dropped.
In court, Edouard’s attorney argued that his client was attempting to arrest Cuffee — he was just doing his job.
This is the third time since November that a police officer has been indicted for excessive force the Brooklyn DA’s Office. This case, which took place just a week after the July 17 chokehold death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD, and the officer’s resulting court appearance highlights a growing trend of strife between the NYPD, the public and the New York City Mayor’s Office, which was epitomized by a three-week virtual work stoppage by the NYPD, in which most precincts only made essential arrests.