In recent months, New York City residents have observed a string of efforts to hold uniformed officers more accountable for their actions. In the latest attempt to uphold that mission, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced that a New York City Police Officer was officially sentenced to two years' probation and instructed to resign after being convicted of misdemeanor assault for stomping on a suspect's head. The incident occurred while the suspect was face down on the ground, restrained and in the process of being handcuffed by other officers.
The officer was identified as Joel Edouard, 38, of Elmont, NY, who was working for the 81st precinct at the time of the gruesome arrest. During the investigation, detectives uncovered a witness to the incident who captured a cell phone video which depicts the victim on the ground, face down and being subdued by several officers. The video also showed Officer Edouard briefly pointing his gun at the victim before briefly walking away from the scene. Upon returning, the officer was observed stomping on the victim's head.
The case was then investigated by Sergeant Amy Morin of the New York City Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner of Internal Affairs Joseph Reznick.
After reviewing the case, the District Attorney's Office made a recommendation that called for at least 60 days in jail followed by a two year stint of probation. In a statement, District Attorney Thompson expressed his dismay at such a lenient sentence for police misconduct that occurred in broad daylight.
"He deserved to spend time in jail for committing such a blatant act of police brutality, but we accept the sentence imposed by the court," Thompson stated.
Officer Edouard was sentenced by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Alan Marrus, who handed down two years probation under the condition that, if not terminated, the officer resigns within 24 hours. The sentence comes after Edouard was convicted on April 29, 2016 of one count of third-degree assault which is classified as a misdemeanor.