Judge Dismisses Cop Beatdown On Graffiti Artist

police_brutality.jpgINQUIRER: A Philadelphia municipal court judge dismissed charges today against two former police officers who were accused of assaulting a graffiti artist. David Vernitsky, 36, lost three teeth and suffered a broken jaw that had to be wired shut for five weeks. Judge Francis Cosgrove issued his decision without comment. At 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 26, 2007, Officers Sheldon Fitzgerald and Howard Hill III saw Vernitsky spray-painting graffiti on a wall near Fourth Street and Wyoming Avenue in Feltonville. When Vernitsky fled, the officers caught him, beat him, and threw him head-first into their patrol car, District Attorney Lynn Abraham said in May while announcing the charges. The five-year veterans were suspended without pay, with intent to dismiss, and were charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy, tampering with public records, and related offenses. MORE

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