By: John Roberts
|New York judge Thomas D. Raffaele|
Two uniformed police officers stood over a shirtless man lying face down on the pavement. The man's hands were cuffed behind his back and he was screaming. A crowd taunted the officers.
The judge, concerned the crowd was becoming unruly, called 911 and reported that the officers needed help.
But within minutes, he said, one of the two officers was furious and the judge became his target.
The officer yelled and cursed at the spectators, some of whom complained of what he said was his violent treatment of the suspect, and then focused on the Justice Raffaele, wearing a shirt and jeans. The judge said the officer stepped forward and, with the top edge of the hand, gave him a strong blow to the throat that was like what he learned when he was trained in combat in the military.
The episode happened, Friday morning just after midnight. The judge said that his initial complaint about the officer was dismissed by a sergeant, the highest ranking supervisor on the scene is now the center of a police investigations from the Office of Internal Affairs and the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
The judge said he believed the officer also hit one or two people at the scene on 74th Street near 37 Road, a busy commercial strip in Jackson Heights. But he said he could not be sure because the blow to the throat sent him reeling backwards and then he doubled over in pain.