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Attorney: Video shows police misconduct

Updated: 02/12/2014 6:47 PM
Created: 02/12/2014 6:40 PM WNYT.com
By: Kumi Tucker

TROY - Attorney Joe Ahearn says video from an incident in March shows police slamming his client into a parked car. His client was later charged with damaging that car.

The video shows what happened inside and outside a Troy convenience store March 1. It involves a teenager named Jordan Novak and police.

The 19-year-old was in the store with another man who is allegedly drunk, refusing to leave and harassing customers.

Police are called. An officer arrests the other man. Novak get involved, either interfering or, as he claims, helping with the situation.

You see him put his arms up as the officer then takes him outside.

In video of the outside of the store, you see police pull the other man out. Novak has his arms out as he and the officer come out. He ends up hitting the car and sitting on the ground.

Novak was later charged with obstruction, resisting arrest, and a felony for intentionally damaging the parked car. Prosecutors later dropped that criminal mischief felony charge.

"What concerns me about the video is the flagrant nature of the misconduct of the police department and the fact that despite an internal affairs complaint filed by an attorney they still haven't taken any corrective action," said Joe Ahearn, Novak's attorney. "There's been no accountability at all."

"When a kid stands there and puts his hands in the air when he's told he's under arrest and he gets thrown out the front door and then thrown into a parked car and then charged with damaging the parked car, I certainly think that's inappropriate."

This is unrelated to the more recent violence at Kokopelli's, where police have been criticized for their use of physical force.

The incident at the store in March was brought up in a trial for an unrelated case last week. In that trial, Officer Isaac Bertos testified that he pushed Novak, trying to get him back, and that Novak suddenly fell backwards into the car.

That's not the way Ahearn sees it.

"But when you have a video as clear as that, and you have an officer literally jamming him into a parked car and then charging him criminally for damaging the car and then it gets reported to internal affairs and nothing is done, that's a huge problem, obviously," he said.

A Troy police spokesman says he cannot comment on this case.  

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