The day after the Onondaga County District Attorney's office cleared a Syracuse police officer of criminal wrongdoing, the alleged victim of police brutality is filing a civil lawsuit in federal court against the City of Syracuse.
The attorney for Edward Jones, Bryan Konoski, tells CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that they decided to go with a civil rights suit instead of a filing a notice of claim against the city.
In a news release, Konoski blasted the district attorney's handling of the investigation into the July 30th incident on Park Street in Syracuse which was captured by a neighbor's cell phone and posted on the CNY Central Facebook page. "The prosecutor claimed the injuries were not severe enough to rise to a level which would support a crime," says Konoski.
Interestingly, Konoski notes that "The district attorney's office prosecutes people all the time for causing similar injuries. However, this case was quickly closed without ever meeting with Mr. Jones, talking to him about the events, or asking him to produce the photograph of the eye injury."
Jones spoke exclusively with Jim Kenyon the day after the video of his arrest was posted on the CNY Central facebook page. "Once my hands were behind my back I can't defend myself in any way shape or form. I wasn't resisting arrest, they had no right to take my head and slam it into the car," Jones said on August 1st.
The video shows the officer slamming Jones' head into the police car with enough force to break the side view mirror. Jones told Kenyon he suffered an eye injury in the process.
"How can the public have any confidence in the district attorney's office when a police officer clearly assaults a man on video, but the matter is quickly swept under the carpet?" Konoski asks.
The civil rights suit seeks a half million dollars in compensatory and other damages and a million dollars in punitive damages. It named the City of Syracuse, the Syracuse Police Department, and "John Doe", which refers to the police officer whose name has not yet been released.
We are attempting to contact the Onondaga County District Attorney's office for a response.
A spokesperson for Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says the administration does not comment on pending litigation.
What do you think about the case? Should charges have been filed against the police officer? Should the victim get money for what he endured? Should the district attorney's office be held more accountable? Leave your comments below.