The Civil Rights Bureau of the Brooklyn district attorney’s office is investigating a NYPD officer accused of a possible hate crime. Accused of assaulting a Brooklyn woman and yelling anti-gay slurs at her, NYPD Officer Salvator Aquino faces criminal charges and investigation following the controversy surrounding the incident.
Stephanie Dorceant, 29, was arrested for assault against an officer early in the morning on July 11, 2015 in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn. Additionally, she was being charged with felony assault, resisting arrest, menacing and harassment.
Victims’ Claim Against Officer Aquino
Dorceant claims it was Officer Aquino who was the assailant, not her. In her statement issued by her personal injury lawyer Brooklyn resided, Dorceant was leaving a concert with her girlfriend when she accidentally bumped into Aquino from behind. When she asked him if he was okay, Aquino called her a homophobic slur. He then attacked her, punching and choking her until she could not breath.
Both Dorceant and her girlfriend admit that Dorceant bit Aquino, but that was in self defense because she bit him to release the choke hold he was squeezing around her neck. Upon his release, assisting officers arrive and slam Dorceant into the pavement and arresting her. She was placed in a holding cell, then transferred to the hospital for treatment, after which she was sent to central booking. At the arraignment, probably cause was determined against Dorceant. She was awarded a bail and furthermore ordered to Riker’s Island.
Officers’ Complaint against Dorceant In the criminal complaint filed against Dorceant, Aquino claims Dorceant was arguing with her girlfriend when they bumped into each other. He further claims Dorceant was the assailant, punching the officer and resisting arrest. During the resist, Aquino claims Dorceant bit him on the arms, chest, finger and torso, breaking through his skin.At the arraignment hearing, police officers testified on Aquino’s behalf, stating that Dorceant was the one who used racial slurs and assaulted Aquino, although no proof was provided by the prosecution or their witnesses to support that claim.
Personal Injury Lawyer Brooklyn Aftermath
Dorceants’ attorneys assert that Dorceant posed no physical threat to Aquino and confirmed he was off duty at the time of the incident. The attorney believe that in the wake of the evidence and witness statements, Dorceant continues to proclaim her innocence and is expected to be exonerated on all charges. While criminal charges have been brought against Aquino, and are pending investigation, Dorceant and her attorneys plan to file civil charges in the time coming.
While the NYC police officer union, The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, did not respond immediately to the charges against Aquino, the NYPD’s internal affairs department has proclaimed that it has launched an investigation and will determine whether disciplinary action is applicable.Dorceant has been released on bail and supporters has launched a crowd-funding account to cover Dorceant’s legal fees. In order to prevail, prosecutors must convene a grand jury and indict her no later than January of 2016. The judge declared that if the prosecution fails to indict Dorceant, the charges against her will be dismissed.