Police Officer Punches NY State Supreme Court Justice In The Throat

Justice Thomas D. Raffaele Says Police Officer Struck Him

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Justice Thomas D. Raffaele said a police officer in Queens, enraged at a jeering crowd, hit him in the throat on Friday.
By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM

Published: June 06, 2012

Correction Appended

Thomas D. Raffaele, a 69-year-old justice of the New York State Supreme Court, encountered a chaotic scene while walking down a Queens street with a friend: Two uniformed police officers stood over a shirtless man lying facedown on the pavement. The man’s hands were cuffed behind his back and he was screaming. A crowd jeered at the officers.

The judge, concerned the crowd was becoming unruly, called 911 and reported that the officers needed help.

But within minutes, he said, one of the two officers became enraged – and the judge became his target. The officer screamed and cursed at the onlookers, some of whom were complaining about what they said was his violent treatment of the suspect, and then he focused on Justice Raffaele, who was wearing a T-shirt and jeans. The judge said the officer rushed forward and, using the upper edge of his hand, delivered a sharp blow to the judge’s throat that was like what he learned when he was trained in hand-to-hand combat in the Army.

The episode, Friday morning just after midnight – in which the judge says his initial complaint about the officer was dismissed by a sergeant, the ranking supervisor at the scene – is now the focus of investigations by the police Internal Affairs Bureau and the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

The judge said he believed the officer also hit one or two other people during the encounter on 74th Street near 37th Road, a busy commercial strip in Jackson Heights. But he said he could not be sure, because the blow to his throat sent him reeling back and he then doubled over in pain.

TheWatchTowers.org
Translate »