2 NYPD officers suspended for beating suspect

THE BRONX - (AP) - Two New York Police Department patrolmen were suspended after a video surfaced showing them beating a handcuffed suspect during an undercover drug operation, police officials said Thursday.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said he decided to suspend John Cicero and William Green as soon as he saw the video shot by a witness looking out an apartment window in the Bronx on Jan. 5.

"We simply are never going to tolerate something like that," Kelly said. "We are going to take swift and firm action when we see activities of that nature."

Kelly said that two sergeants supervising the officers, Junior Carela and Phillip Connor, were put on desk duty pending the outcome of internal affairs and Bronx District Attorney's office investigations.

Asked about the suspended officers, a Patrolmen's Benevolent Association spokesman declined to comment. There was no immediate response to a phone message left for a lawyer with the sergeants' union.

The video shows Cicero and Green bending down to punch the suspect, Jonathan Baez, who was handcuffed and face down on the ground.

A lawyer for Baez, Jeffrey Emdin, said other officers seen milling about as the scene unfolded should be punished as well.

"If you look at their faces, there's not one look of outrage or disgust," Emdin said. "None of them intervened or reported this.... It reflects business as usual."

Emdin alleged other men also were assaulted by police following a frantic foot chase with a drug suspect.

Police say the drug suspect - not Baez - ran into a basement and unleashed a pit bull that charged the officers. A ricocheting bullet fired by an officer aiming at the dog grazed two detectives.

The dog also was hit, but survived.

Drug charges against Baez were dismissed, his lawyer said.

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