An NYPD officer from Elmont convicted in April of assault for stomping on the head of a suspect during a public drinking and marijuana arrest was given probation by a Brooklyn judge on Thursday on condition that he quit his job within 24 hours if he isn’t fired.
Joel Edouard, 38, faced up to a year in jail for misdemeanor assault on Jahmi-el Cuffee during a 2014 arrest in Bedford-Stuyvesant. A widely posted cellphone video showed Edouard stomping Cuffee, who had resisted, while he was restrained. Edouard claimed he stepped on Cuffee’s hand, not his head.
Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson asked for Edouard to be jailed for two months. After Thursday’s sentencing by Justice Alan Marrus, police-reform advocates criticized the leniency and the failure by the NYPD to act following Edouard’s April 29 conviction.
“It is an indictment of Commissioner (William) Bratton’s leadership and demonstrates systemic failures in the NYPD’s disciplinary system for court ultimatums to be required before appropriate disciplinary action is taken for police brutality,” said a statement from Communities United for Police Reform.
Edouard was suspended without pay after his conviction. Bratton, asked about the case at a news conference on Thursday, said, “If he has been found guilty, he will be terminated from the department.”