Responding to allegations from activist Ken Zeoli that Troy Police officers had violently arrested him and thrown him down a flight of stairs, officer David Fera told this reporter, “Everything we do in there is videotaped!”
Multiple officers made the same claim to protesters, on that day in late August outside a Troy Police precinct, saying the tape would prove Zeoli a liar.
Now the Rensselaer County DA’s office is seeking to bar the public from viewing the video of Zeoli’s booking, the very video that could in theory exonerate the officers. Zeoli faces a charge of trespassing and possession of marijuana. Zeoli says he endured at least one seizure while in custody.
“No one should face this type of misconduct and especially at the hands of a public servant sworn an oath to protect us,” Zeoli told 518Independent. “The actions committed by Sgt. Sean Kittle on August 21st were the only criminal acts that took place on that day in that police station.”
A call to the Rensselaer County DA’s office has yet to be returned.
Zeoli left the precinct on August 21st with an injured shoulder and returned to the scene from a hospital with his arm in a sling.
His defense attorney Matt Toporowski says that a civil suit in the matter is possible. However, Toporowski is focused on attending to Zeoli’s immediate legal trouble. Toporowski believes that the Troy PD has a vendetta against his client.
Turning over this kind of booking video is standard procedure and it isn’t clear yet why the DA’s office is trying to block its public release. A hearing on the matter is set for Friday at 2 PM.
Zeoli was arrested again by Kittle on September 30th while accompanying a friend to the precinct. Kittle charged Zeoli with resisting arrest after Zeoli had left the station.
In another quirk of the case, the DA’s office objected to Toporowski’s attempt to subpoena Kittle’s disciplinary record. The recent repeal of 50A, a measure that made police disciplinary records private, means that Kittle’s record should technically be open for public review. However, police unions across the state have filed suits to block the release of such records.