NYPD Officer Vincent D’Andraia charged w/ assault charges after video caught him violently shoving Brooklyn protester Dounya Zayer to the ground in latest act of police brutality.
A NYPD cop caught on video last month violently shoving a Brooklyn protester to the ground causing her to lose consciousness following nation wide protests over the death of George Floyd was on Tuesday arrested and charged with assault.
NYPD Officer Vincent D’Andraia, 28, surrendered at Brooklyn Criminal Court and was charged with third-degree assault, attempted assault, menacing and harassment for the violent May 29 run-in with protester Dounya Zayer, 20, near the Barclays Center. The young woman suffered multiple seizures and a concussion after the assault where she was jolted ‘right out of her shoes,’ her lawyer said.
Prosecutors allege D’Andraia called Zayer a ‘stupid f—ing b—h’ before knocking the cellphone out of her hand and shoving her to the street, ‘causing her to strike her head on the pavement.’ The attack, captured on a video that quickly went viral, led to criticism of the NYPD’s handling of protesters angered by Floyd’s death beneath the knee of a Minneapolis cop.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said he was ‘deeply troubled’ by D’Andraia’s attack on Zayer.
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) June 9, 2020
‘I cannot tolerate the use of excessive force against anyone exercising this Constitutionally guaranteed right.’
‘I fully support the long-held American tradition of non-violent protest,’ Gonzalez said Tuesday. ‘I cannot tolerate the use of excessive force against anyone exercising this Constitutionally guaranteed right. This is especially true of those who are sworn to protect us and uphold the law.’
D’Andraia, assigned to Brownsville’s 73rd Precinct before his suspension from the force, was barred from contacting Zayer after a Brooklyn Criminal Court judge approved an order of protection for the victim following a brief arraignment.
Deputy Inspector Craig Edelman, the commanding officer of the 7rd Precinct, was transferred out when the video showed him doing nothing to stop the incident.
‘Police brutality has gone largely unchecked in this city and D’Andraia’s arrest does not signify justice. Had the violent assault not been caught on video this would have been business as usual,’ said Zeyer’s attorney Tahanie Aboushi.
— Jonny Daytona, Regular Human (@GonSmithe) May 30, 2020
‘D’Andraia’s misconduct typifies a culture of impunity that thrives amongst the rank-and-file at the NYPD,’
D’Andraia also faces an NYPD internal disciplinary hearing on his possible firing. His attorney, Stephen Worth, said the department took away D’Andraia’s weapons when he was suspended.
The Legal Aid Society, longtime critics of NYPD misconduct, said D’Andraia would still be patrolling the streets without the video clip.
‘D’Andraia’s misconduct typifies a culture of impunity that thrives amongst the rank-and-file at the NYPD,’ the Legal Aid Society said in a statement. ‘In the absence of a NYPD discipline system that truly holds officers accountable for misconduct and discourages inappropriate or even criminal behavior, our local District Attorneys must provide that check on law enforcement.’
— Dounya Zayer (@zayer_dounya) May 30, 2020
‘That’s the point of them being an officer. They’re suppose to protect us.’
In a series of posts on Twitter, Zayer told of being rushed to an emergency centre after suffering a seizure following the May 29 incident and was recovering from a concussion at the hospital.
‘I want to make one thing clear about this situation. In no way was I aggressive towards this police officer and I did not even get in his physical space,’ she said in one post. ‘I did NOT spit in this officer’s face. I was wearing a face mask. He told me to get out of the street and then immediately threw me out of the way.’
Adding in another post, ‘I was protesting for a reason, and the officers at these protests should back down. They should apologize, because they’re wearing blue. And they are part of the gang that killed George Floyd. And them acting the way they did today isn’t helping the cause. It’s not proving to us that they care about us. I wasn’t aggressive to the police officer and even if I was, he should have had the self restraint to not hurt the people he is supposed to be protecting. That’s the point of them being an officer. They’re suppose to protect us.’