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NYPD Officer Guilty of Stomping on Suspect's Head Should Go to Jail: DA

By Camille Bautista | June 10, 2016 2:10pm | Updated on June 13, 2016 8:17am
 Officer Joel Edouard was convicted of assault in April for stomping a suspect's head in Brooklyn, prosecutors said.
Officer Joel Edouard was convicted of assault in April for stomping a suspect's head in Brooklyn, prosecutors said.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

BROOKLYN — An NYPD officer caught on video stomping on a suspect's head should be sentenced to 60 days in jail, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.

Thompson asked a judge this week to give jail time and two years probation to Officer Joel Edouard, who was found guilty in April of misdemeanor assault for the July 2014 incident.

“The defendant’s assault of the victim was clearly an act of police brutality,” the letter to Judge Allan Marrus reads.

Edouard was working out of Bed-Stuy’s 81st Precinct on July 23, 2014 when he and his partner saw Jahmi-El Cuffee drinking on the sidewalk near Malcolm X Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue with what appeared to be marijuana, prosecutors said.

As the officers attempted to arrest him, Cuffee resisted, officials said, and more officers arrived on scene to assist.

The incident was captured on video. Police can be seen trying to handcuff Cuffee as Edouard pulls out his gun and points it at him.

The officer later stomps on the suspect’s head while he’s on the ground, according to prosecutors.

Edouard has been placed on modified assignment, according to the NYPD.

“The people of Bedford Stuyvesant, where the assault occurred, and those in every community in Brooklyn, are entitled to believe that a police officer will be held to a higher standard of conduct than that of a violent criminal," Thompson said in his letter.

“...When a police officer engages in such an open and deplorable act of police brutality, his conduct has a direct and lasting impact upon the public perception of police officers in general."

Thompson’s recommendation was first reported by the New York Daily News.

Edouard’s sentencing was scheduled for June 10, but was adjourned to June 23 to allow the defense time to respond to the DA's request, according to the DA’s office.

An attorney for Edouard was not immediately available for comment.

In March, the DA requested that former NYPD officer Peter Liang serve no jail time for the fatal shooting of an unarmed man, recommending a sentence of five years of probation and six months of ankle-monitored home confinement, along with 500 hours of community service.

In a statement on that recommendation, Thompson said there was no evidence that Liang intended to kill or injure unarmed Brooklyn man Akai Gurley.

A judge sentenced Liang to five years of probation and 800 hours of community service.