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NYPD Officer Who Struck the Throat of a Judge Avoids Criminal Charges
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On Wednesday, District Attorney Richard Brown, for the Queens district attorney’s office said that the DA will not bring criminal charges against a police officer accused of assaulting a judge for want of evidence. The DA’s office affirmed that an “extensive and thorough” investigation has failed to yield sufficient evidence to justify supporting a criminal prosecution over the June 1 incident.

According to the complaint, Queens Supreme Court Justice Thomas Raffaele was part of a crowd that witnessed a homeless man wielding a metal pipe being subdued by NYPD officers after midnight. The judge claimed that one of the officers struck him in the throat without provocations while they attempted to clear space between the man wielding the metal pipe and the public.

The DA said, “The People would have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the police officer intentionally and unjustifiably struck Justice Raffaele and that the judge sustained physical injury … based on our investigation, we are unable to sustain that burden.”

  
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The DA’s office also declined to pursue charges of using excessive force against the homeless man. Paul Browne, a spokesman for the NYPD said, “All of the credible evidence supports the findings that Mr. Menninger was acting in a violent, erratic and uncontrolled manner by attempting to strike two transit police officers with a metal pipe and that the officers used necessary force to subdue an individual who they determined to be an emotionally disturbed person.”

In the incident, the homeless person was not charged but taken to a local hospital and released. His civil lawyer intends to sue the NYPD and file a formal lawsuit over “brutal and inhumane beating.” Raffaele, 69, was not available for comments.

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