Yonkers cop acquitted in police brutality trial
A Yonkers police officer accused of violating a woman's civil rights by allegedly body-slamming her to the ground last year was acquitted Wednesday in a police brutality trial.
It took the jury six hours to reach the not-guilty verdict in the case of Officer Wayne Simoes. In the course of the deliberations, the jurors asked to watch a surveillance video from La Fonda Restaurant, which according to prosecutors shows Simoes picking up Irma Marquez from behind and slamming her face first to the tile floor.
Marquez suffered bruises to her face, a broken jaw and memory loss.However, the defense says Simoes did not slam Marquez on purpose, but rather the woman slipped from his grasp while he tried to prevent her from interfering with the work of first responders who were trying to revive another woman laying unconscious on the floor.
In order to be convicted, the prosecution had to prove that Simoes' actions were willful and had an evil purpose. The judge explained to the jurors that bad or evil purpose can mean using more force than necessary.
"It wasn't a willful act," says Simoes' attorney Andy Quinn. "A willful act means an intent to deprive somebody of their rights, and he didn't do that. The evidence was very, very clear."
The not-guilty verdict was greeted by a round of applause from Simoes' colleagues on the force who were waiting for him outside the courthouse in White Plains. Speaking to reporters, the teary Simoes thanked his attorney, the jurors and his family for their support.
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