Updated: November 05, 2020 03:53 PM
Created: November 04, 2020 08:59 PM
A Troy City Court Judge has ruled in favor of defense attorney Matthew Toporowski's request to see surveillance video from his client's arrest back in August. On Monday the judge also granted permission for the video to be shared with the media and the public.
On August 21, 2020 Kenneth Zeoli says he was unlawfully arrested and injured by officers in Troy. Previously released video taken by witnesses shows the moments leading up to the arrest. Zeoli, who is a know community activist in Troy, says he and several others were at the police station to request a complaint form after benches were removed from a local park. Zeoli has said an officer on duty refused to give them a form and then arrested Zeoli and charged him with trespassing.
Zeoli says he was roughed up by an officer resulting in a shoulder injury. He also says he suffered a seizure while in custody and was denied medical attention.
Toporowski requested access to surveillance footage from various areas in the police station. District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly says her office argued in court last week that video was not relevant to the case. Toporowski disagreed and ultimately the judge ruled in favor of the defense. Donnelly then sought a protective order prohibiting Toporwoski from sharing that video and the judge denied that request as well.
"There's a lot of ancillary things going on pertaining to what started this whole matter and we thought the best course of action was to ask the judge for that limiting order. That said the judge didn't agree so we've taken the steps this morning to turn over that video to Mr. Toporowski and we expect to move forward with the prosecution," said Donnelly.
Donnelly provided a copy of the 2 hours of surveillance footage to NewsChannel 13 before Toporowski received his copy. In the footage Zeoli can be seen being placed in a holding cell. He yells for help saying he is going to have a seizure. At one point in the video Zeoli falls to the floor and appears to writhe around, then get back up and continues yelling.
"I'm not accusing this officer of anything. All's I'm asking for is all the video, all the evidence and so we all can know. And, beyond that, again, I want to bring us back to the main point here. This is a trespass case. It's a violation case. Why was Kenny accused of trespass in the first place instead of just being handed a form that was public and it was in his right to ask for it. That's the question we're trying to answer," said Toporowski.
Toporowski says the video he received from the DA's office did not have sound. He is also questioning why there is no video being shared from the moments after Zeoli was first taken into custody. Zeoli says he was injured in the area of a staircase so Toporowski is inquiring as to whether or not video surveillance is taken in this area.
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