Judge rejects Rensco DA’s attempt to block video in Zeoli case

Judge Christopher Maier has denied the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s request to block the release of video of an activist’s time in Troy PD custody

“The People’s arguments in support of a protective order are vague, speculative and conclusory and therefore insufficient.” writes Maier in his decision that was handed down this evening. “Accordingly, the People’s application for a protective order is DENIED. ” 

The DA’s office argued that video of the incident could prejudice future juries, lead to protests and property damage. Zeoli says that he was thrown down a flight of stairs by by Troy PD resulting in an injury to his arm. He says police taunted him and denied him medical assistance as he had a seizure.

Zeoli was arrested for trespassing while seeking a complaint form, he also faces a charge of possession of marijuana.

In his decision, Maier states that he believes there are cases where evidence should be blocked from public view. However, he writes, “There is no evidence before the Court to indicate what the video actually contains or how its contents could cause the harm alleged.” 

The DA’s office moved for the protective order on the video after Toporowksi noted he wasn’t ready to move forward with Zeoli’s trespassing trial without the video. Turning over booking video is fairly typical procedure. 

Sergeant Sean Kittle, the man who arrested Zeoli, took to Facebook on Friday ahead of Maier’s expected ruling attacking Zeoli and his defense attorney Matt Toporowski. Kittle claims that Zeoli faked his seizure and injured himself.

Kittle’s statement is highly unusual and likely complicates matters for the DA’s office. 

“This officer publicly called me a whore, my client a felon, and the TU reporter a hack,” said Toporowski. “The public should not be surprised this is the same officer who refused to simply hand concerned citizens public complaint forms in compliance with department policy, which would have avoided all of this.” 

Kittle arrested Zeoli for trespassing as the same Troy precinct a second time on September 30th and charged Zeoli with resisting arrest. 

Its unclear when the video will actually be released to Toporowski as the DA’s office can appeal. 

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