Case of Yonkers officer goes to jury

The fate of a Yonkers police officer accused of throwing a woman to the floor is now in the hands of a jury.

The case against Yonkers Officer Wayne Simoes went to jurors Wednesday morning at U.S. District Court in White Plains. Judge Kenneth Karras spent about 45 minutes giving the jury instructions on how to perform what he called one of the most important duties a citizen has.

Simoes is accused of violating the civil rights of 44-year-old Irma Marquez after video taken at a Yonkers restaurant on March 3, 2007 seems to show the officer lifting Marquez by her waist and throwing her face-first to the floor.

The defense has argued that Simoes slipped when he tried to grab Marquez - who they claim was falling down drunk - and that they both crashed to the floor accidentally.

If convicted, Simoes could be sent to prison for up to 10 years.

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