518 Independent has obtained video from activist Ken Zeoli’s time in Troy PD custody following his arrest on August 21 for seeking a complaint form.
The footage shows Zeoli being locked in a cell by arresting Sergeant Sean Kittle, followed by Zeoli calling for help, falling on the ground, and screaming for help.
The Rensselaer County DA’s office fought to block public release of the video saying it could lead to protests, property damage and prejudice juries.
Zeoli can be heard asking Kittle what he’s been arrested for and whether he can have a lawyer. Just after Kittle shuts the cell door, Zeoli begins screaming for medical attention, and writhing around on the floor.
“Help! Seizure! I need an ambulance!” he screams.
He then gets up and walks to a corner of the cell, walks back to the front of the cell, and begins screaming for help again while banging on the door. The video lasts for nine minutes and no officers appear to respond in that time.
Video of an incident where officers restrained Zeoli, as documented in police reports, is not captured on the video. Also, unclear is whether there is footage of the stairwell that Zeoli claims to have been thrown down.
Kittle took to Facebook on Friday to claim that Zeoli injured himself and faked a seizure. Kittle described his experience as an EMT and other occasions where he’s witnessed seizures.
“A real seizure patient’s body becomes ridged, and they fall to the ground. They don’t catch their fall. They fall strait to the floor and often strike their heads on the way down,” Kittle goes on.
Zeoli’s defense attorney Matt Toporowski says that Zeoli has a history of seizures, has sought medical attention for them in the past, and has been diagnosed with PTSD.
Toporowski stated previously that a civil suit around police brutality is in the making. However, he points out that Zeoli is currently on trial for trespassing while seeking a complaint form. “All of this could have been avoided if Sergeant Kittle just did his job and handed him a complaint form,” says Toporowski.
A trial date as yet to be set.