Felix Rivera-Pitra says the NYPD's claim that he tried to assault an officer is baseless VIDEO
Here’s a quick update on the unresolved story of the photo of an Occupy Wall Street protester apparently tackling a police officer that went national over the weekend.
The “tackling” photo appears to have been taken just moments after protester Felix Rivera-Pitre was punched in the face by NYPD Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona. A couple of videos of the punching have gone viral on YouTube (see below for one).
Rivera-Pitre tells me that the unidentified man in the blue shirt in the “tackling” photo merely entered the melee to come to Rivera-Pitre’s aid.
“He was just trying to help. The cops were pretty violent. They were the ones actually elbowing people,” Rivera-Pitre says. “The reason I didn’t get arrested was this guy [from the photo] was one of the guys around me. I think he was the one who started screaming, ‘Save him! Save him!’”
Here is the video of the punching, with the man in the blue shirt visible at the :23 mark. (Again, if anyone knows the identity of the man in the blue shirt, please email me at email@example.com. Anonymity guaranteed.)
Rivera-Pitre does not know the blue-shirted man’s name, but said he had met him at Zuccotti Park earlier in the day when Rivera-Pitre was distributing daisies he had brought to underscore protesters’ commitment to nonviolence.
Rivera-Pitre escaped arrest because the crowd snatched him away from the two officers on the scene. The NYPD is now seeking his arrest for allegedly attempting to elbow Cardona — an act that police claim led to the punching. Rivera-Pitre maintains he tried to elbow no one.
“If they can find me a video where that happened, I will give you all the wealth that I have in the world,” he says. “It didn’t happen.”
As for the protester in the blue shirt who allegedly tackled one of the officers, it’s of course possible that Rivera-Pitre, in a daze after being punched, simply didn’t see everything that happened. So what exactly happened is still a mystery.
Attorney Ron Kuby, who is representing Rivera-Pitre, said in an email that the status of Rivera-Pitre’s case is still up in the air:
The police have what is known as an “open 61″ That is an open complaint to arrest him. It is not a warrant (no judge issued it), nor is it done in consultation with the DA’s office. The police simply say that we want to arrest x and we will. Yesterday, I asked the head of the Official Corruption Unit of the New York County DA’s Office (which is looking into police misconduct, or not), to contact the police and inform them that the DA does not want any arrests made until the DA’s investigation is concluded. I was told “we do not control the police.” Which is, of course, the problem–no one seems to.
More Related Stories
- Illinois' fracking and coal rush is a national crisis
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
- DHS admits "impossible" to control 3D-printed guns
- Journalists file suit against Manning trial secrecy
- Russia: Syrian regime ready to talk peace
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Ted Cruz against the world
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- 2 men arrested for endangering commercial aircraft
- Oversized load blamed for bridge collapse
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Iran hackers aiming at U.S. energy firms
- Lawyers release data in attempt to discredit Trayvon Martin
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Bridge collapse: Part of "aging infrastructure"
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- Amanda Bynes arrested after hurling bong from window
- Interstate 5 bridge collapses north of Seattle
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11