An NYPD officer pleaded not guilty to assault on Tuesday and was released on his own recognizance after allegedly jumping on a suspect's head during an arrest last July. During the incident, 37-year-old black officer Joel Edouard was attempting to arrest 32-year-old Jahmiel Cuffee in Bedford Stuyvesant for public drinking and marijuana possession. As Cuffee, who is also black, tussled with the police, Edouard allegedly stomped on his head while Cuffee was on the ground being handcuffed.
The case is the latest in the city brought against an officer accused of excessive force — and filmed on a cell phone.
It's the third case of alleged police brutality that Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson has prosecuted in the last few months. His office is also currently investigating six other police misconduct cases.
“Acts of police brutality are not only crimes against the individual victim,” said Thompson last December, “but are also attacks on the communities where they occur.”
Edouard is an eight-year NYPD veteran who was placed on modified duty last summer. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted.