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Police officer who stomped on man's head receives sentence

A New York Police Department officer who was videotaped stomping on the head of a man who had already been placed in handcuffs was sentenced on June 23 for his misdemeanor conviction of assault. The man was found guilty of the assault two months ago. The case had originally made headlines in 2014.

The prosecuting attorney reportedly asked the court to sentence the officer to at least two months in jail. The man's defense attorney argued that a more appropriate sentence would be to serve some community service hours by being required to speak to children's groups. The court sentenced him to serve two years of probation, and the judge said he didn't see a reason to send him to jail for the offense.

The judge also ordered that the officer resign from his job within 24 hours of the court's ruling if the Police Commissioner did not fire him. The Police Commissioner said in a statement that he will follow the court's orders.

Police officers are not allowed to use unreasonably excessive force when they are making arrests. In this case, the officer's victim had a separate civil suit that was filed while the criminal matter was pending. This is allowed under New York law as civil and criminal cases operate under different bodies of law. If a someone believes that the officer in their own case used excessive force, they may want to talk to a criminal defense lawyer who also practices in the area of civil rights law.

Source: New York Daily News, "Head-stomping NYPD cop Joel Edouard loses job, but ducks jail time," Christina Carrega-Woodby, Larry McShane, June 23, 2016.

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