By Murray Weiss, DNAinfo Columnist / Criminal Justice Editor

NEW YORK CITY — The city will defend an NYPD commander who punched an Occupy Wall Street protester in the face during a 2011 demonstration in Lower Manhattan, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.

Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona will meet this week with attorneys from the city’s Law Department to begin to map out legal strategies involving his role in an NYPD clash with OWS protesters on Oct. 14, 2011, where he was caught on tape hitting activist Felix Rivera-Pitre.

Cardona, who has since been sued, told investigators he approached the protester to take him into custody after Rivera-Pitre tried to elbow him in the face. Other video apparently showed Rivera-Pitre with a clenched fist as though he was preparing to strike the veteran NYPD supervisor.  

During an ensuing scuffle with several people, Cardona said he suffered hip and knee injuries that required surgery.

Roy Richter, the president of the Captains Endowment Association, insists Cardona is “the true victim” of the clash.

In recent weeks, published reports wrongly claimed the city had abandoned Cardona in any civil litigation.

Meanwhile, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said Friday that it would not bring criminal charges against Cardona or another deputy inspector, Anthony Bologna, who pepper-sprayed several women on E. 12th St. during a September 2001 demonstration.

In Bologna’s case, the city did announce it would not defend him in civil court based on the fact that Bologna pleaded guilty in an NYPD disciplinary hearing to violating an internal guideline by using pepper-spray in a non-arrest situation.

He was docked 10 vacation days. The city said it could not defend an officer who admits any wrongdoing.

Richter said he was pleased that the city was planning to fight for Cardona, but he called on the mayor to reverse the decision on Bologna.

“While I am pleased with the decision to indemnify Deputy Inspector Cardona, it highlights the perversion of the Law Department review process where any possible excuse is identified to abandon an officer who is sued as a result of his taking action in the performance of duty,” he told “On The Inside.”

“It is an abdication of responsibility for the city in the civil review process to subject police commanders to personal liability when their only fault is taking action as directed and in accordance with their training and experience."

“For the Mayor to continue to deny representation to Deputy Inspector Bologna is an equal injustice and one that should be corrected in light of the District Attorney's review."

Attorney Ron Kuby, who represent several of the OWS protesters including Rivera-Pitre, chastised the Manhattan DA for lacking the backbone to bring charges against Bologna and Cardona, and vowed to take the matter to federal and civil courts.

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  • Zuccotti eviction

    In this image made using a cell phone, police order Occupy Wall Street protesters to leave Zuccotti Park, their longtime encampment in New York, early Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police handed out notices from the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous. Protesters were told they could return, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof)

  • Zuccotti eviction

    Occupy Wall Street protesters clash with police at Zuccotti Park after being ordered to leave their longtime encampment in New York, early Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police handed out notices from the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous. Protesters were told they could return, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

  • A man is confronted by New York Police D

    A man is confronted by New York Police Department officers as New York City officials clear the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest from Zuccotti Park in the early morning hours of November 15, 2011 in New York. The surprise crackdown at the birthplace of the movement, launched after similar evictions in other cities, signaled a tougher line by US authorities towards the two-month old protests against Wall Street and Washington elites. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A woman yells at New York Police Departm

    A woman yells at New York Police Department officers as New York City officials clear the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest from Zuccotti Park in the early morning hours of November 15, 2011 in New York. The surprise crackdown at the birthplace of the movement, launched after similar evictions in other cities, signaled a tougher line by US authorities towards the two-month old protests against Wall Street and Washington elites. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Zuccotti eviction

    A demonstrator yells at police officers as they order Occupy Wall Street protesters to leave Zuccotti Park, their longtime encampment in New York, early Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police handed out notices from the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous. Protesters were told they could return, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Zuccotti eviction

    An Occupy Wall Street protester is detained by police officers after being ordered to leave Zuccotti Park, their longtime encampment in New York, early Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police handed out notices from the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous. Protesters were told they could return, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • A woman is conforted by another as New Y

    A woman is conforted by another as New York City officials clear the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest from Zuccotti Park in the early morning hours of November 15, 2011 in New York. The surprise crackdown at the birthplace of the movement, launched after similar evictions in other cities, signaled a tougher line by US authorities towards the two-month old protests against Wall Street and Washington elites. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • New York City sanitation workers clear t

    New York City sanitation workers clear the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest from Zuccotti Park in the early morning hours of November 15, 2011 in New York. Police flooded into the New York cradle of the US anti-Wall Street movement early November 15, driving out demonstrators and tearing down the tent camp in what officials said was a temporary eviction. The surprise crackdown at the birthplace of the movement, launched after similar evictions in other cities, signaled a tougher line by US authorities towards the two-month old protests against Wall Street and Washington elites. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • New York City sanitation workers clear t

    New York City sanitation workers clear the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest from Zuccotti Park in the early morning hours of November 15, 2011 in New York. Police flooded into the New York cradle of the US anti-Wall Street movement early November 15, driving out demonstrators and tearing down the tent camp in what officials said was a temporary eviction. The surprise crackdown at the birthplace of the movement, launched after similar evictions in other cities, signaled a tougher line by US authorities towards the two-month old protests against Wall Street and Washington elites. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • New York City sanitation workers clear t

    New York City sanitation workers clear the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest from Zuccotti Park in the early morning hours of November 15, 2011 in New York. Police flooded into the New York cradle of the US anti-Wall Street movement early November 15, driving out demonstrators and tearing down the tent camp in what officials said was a temporary eviction. The surprise crackdown at the birthplace of the movement, launched after similar evictions in other cities, signaled a tougher line by US authorities towards the two-month old protests against Wall Street and Washington elites. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A man is escorted by a New York Police D

    A man is escorted by a New York Police Department officer as New York City sanitation workers clear the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest from Zuccotti Park in the early morning hours of November 15, 2011 in New York. Police flooded into the New York cradle of the US anti-Wall Street movement early November 15, driving out demonstrators and tearing down the tent camp in what officials said was a temporary eviction. The surprise crackdown at the birthplace of the movement, launched after similar evictions in other cities, signaled a tougher line by US authorities towards the two-month old protests against Wall Street and Washington elites. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • New York City sanitation workers clear t

    New York City sanitation workers clear the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest from Zuccotti Park in the early morning hours of November 15, 2011 in New York. Police flooded into the New York cradle of the US anti-Wall Street movement early November 15, driving out demonstrators and tearing down the tent camp in what officials said was a temporary eviction. The surprise crackdown at the birthplace of the movement, launched after similar evictions in other cities, signaled a tougher line by US authorities towards the two-month old protests against Wall Street and Washington elites. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • New York City sanitation workers clear t

    New York City sanitation workers clear the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest from Zuccotti Park in the early morning hours of November 15, 2011 in New York. Police flooded into the New York cradle of the US anti-Wall Street movement early November 15, driving out demonstrators and tearing down the tent camp in what officials said was a temporary eviction. The surprise crackdown at the birthplace of the movement, launched after similar evictions in other cities, signaled a tougher line by US authorities towards the two-month old protests against Wall Street and Washington elites. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Clearing out

    Sanitation workers gather at Zuccotti Park, the longtime Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York, to start the cleanup effort early Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police handed out notices from the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous. Protesters were told they could return, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Zuccotti eviction

    An Occupy Wall Street demonstrator gestures after being cleared from Zuccotti Park, the longtime encampment in New York, early Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police handed out notices from the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous. Protesters were told they could return, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Sanitation workers gather at Zuccotti Park, the longtime Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York, to start the cleanup effort early Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police handed out notices from the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous. Protesters were told they could return, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Zuccotti eviction

    Police block streets and control the crowd as Occupy Wall Street protesters are ordered to leave Zuccotti Park, their longtime encampment in New York, early Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police handed out notices from the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous. Protesters were told they could return, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Zuccotti eviction

    An Occupy Wall Street protester yells out at police after being ordered to leave Zuccotti Park, their longtime encampment in New York, early Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, police handed out notices from the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous. Protesters were told they could return, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Sanitation workers sweep and clean the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park in New York on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 after police ordered protesters to leave. Police handed out notices from the park's owner, Brookfield Office Properties, and the city saying that the park had to be cleared because it had become unsanitary and hazardous. Protesters were told they could return, but without sleeping bags, tarps or tents. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

  • Police Move In To Clear Occupy Wall Street Camp In Zuccotti Park

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Occupy Wall Street protestors walk down a steet after the police in riot gear removed the protesters the protesters early in the morning from Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011in New York City. Hundreds of protesters, who rallied against inequality in America, have slept in tents and under tarps since Sept. 17 in Zuccotti Park and has since become the epicenter of the global Occupy movement. The raid in New York City follows recent similar moves in Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Police Move In To Clear Occupy Wall Street Camp In Zuccotti Park

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Occupy Wall Street protesters sleep on the street after the police in riot gear removed the protesters the protesters early in the morning from Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011in New York City. Hundreds of protesters, who rallied against inequality in America, have slept in tents and under tarps since Sept. 17 in Zuccotti Park and has since become the epicenter of the global Occupy movement. The raid in New York City follows recent similar moves in Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Occupy Wall Street Camp In Zuccotti Park Cleared By NYPD Over Night

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference at City Hall to discuss the removal of Occupy Wall Street protesters early today from Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011. Hundreds of protesters, who rallied against inequality in America, have slept in tents and under tarps since September 17 in Zuccotti Park, which has become the epicenter of the global Occupy Wall Street movement. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Occupy Wall Street Camp In Zuccotti Park Cleared By NYPD Over Night

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Occupy Wall Street activists protest in Duarte Square after police removed the protesters early in the morning from Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011 in New York City. Hundreds of protesters, who rallied against inequality in America, have slept in tents and under tarps since September 17 in Zuccotti Park, which has since become the epicenter of the global Occupy movement. The raid in New York City follows recent similar moves in Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Occupy Wall Street Camp In Zuccotti Park Cleared By NYPD Over Night

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Occupy Wall Street activists protest in Duarte Square after police removed the protesters early in the morning from Zuccotti Park on November 15, 2011 in New York City. Hundreds of protesters, who rallied against inequality in America, have slept in tents and under tarps since September 17 in Zuccotti Park, which has since become the epicenter of the global Occupy movement. The raid in New York City follows recent similar moves in Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Preston Rescigno/Getty Images)

  • Occupy Wall Street Camp In Zuccotti Park Cleared By NYPD Over Night

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Protesters gather outside Zuccotti Park after police removed the Occupy Wall Street protesters from the park early in the morning on November 15, 2011 in New York City. Hundreds of protesters, who rallied against inequality in America, have slept in tents and under tarps since September 17 in Zuccotti Park, which has since become the epicenter of the global Occupy movement. The raid in New York City follows recent similar moves in Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Occupy Wall Street Camp In Zuccotti Park Cleared By NYPD Over Night

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Protester Leina Bocar stands outside Zuccotti Park after police removed the Occupy Wall Street protesters from the park early in the morning on November 15, 2011 in New York City. Hundreds of protesters, who rallied against inequality in America, have slept in tents and under tarps since September 17 in Zuccotti Park, which has since become the epicenter of the global Occupy movement. The raid in New York City follows recent similar moves in Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)