Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has dropped charges against the shirtless man who was brutally beaten by NYPD officers inside a Jewish youth center.
21-year-old Ehud Halevy was arrested last Monday for resisting arrest and trespassing at the Aliya Institute for Youth Adults, despite having permission to stay at the Institute, as he had been doing for the previous month.
A surveillance video recorded two officers waking Halevy, who tried to explain his situation. When the cop tries to arrest him, he resists, and the male officer, identified as Luis Vega, begins pummeling Halevy in a sustained beating that lasts for a few minutes. The female officer, Yelena Bruzzese, also steps in to hold Halevy down while Vega continues to strike him.
According to an official criminal complaint filed by police, Halevy attacked the officers and was a serious threat against the their safety. The video showed otherwise.
Rabbi Moishe Feiglin of Aliya started a Change.org petition calling for charges against Halevy to be dropped. Some 90,000 people signed the petition.
In response Hynes dropping the charges against Helevy, Feiglin said:
Thank you to everyone who signed our petition on Change.org. Each signature truly helped to make this a reality. I hope this sends a message that we should continue increasing our acts of goodness, kindness and justice.”
As for the two officers seen beating Halevy, the NYPD has launched investigations regarding police brutality. Vega has been placed on modified duty.