NYPD officer Joel Edouard is now facing up to a year in prison, having been convicted of misdemeanor assault on Friday afternoon. The charges against Edouard stemmed from the July 2014 arrest of Jahmi-El Cuffee, who was drinking outside and carrying a small amount of weed. In a widely viewed video, Edouard can be seen pointing a gun and stomping on Cuffee’s head as he lies facedown on the sidewalk, having already been subdued by several cops. The incident took place about a week after the death of Eric Garner.
“Admittedly it was a difficult situation, but he gratuitously stomped on the head of a man being restrained by other police,” said Brooklyn Supreme Court justice Alan Marrus before announcing the verdict.
The New York Post reports that, during testimony earlier this week, Edouard said he merely “restrained [Cuffee’s] hand with my foot.” Meanwhile, his lawyers claimed that “prosecutors doctored pictures showing injuries to the victim’s head instead.” The prosecution offered a simpler explanation, saying that Edouard’s behavior was the result of “blind and uncontrolled anger.”