Cop Acquitted After Body Slam Caught on Tape

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Irma Marquez suffered a broken jaw, among other injuries, in the 2007 confrontation.

    A New York policeman who was caught on video apparently body slamming a woman to a tile floor has been acquitted of civil rights violations.
        
    Jurors in federal court in White Plains found 39-year-old Officer Wayne Simoes not guilty Wednesday afternoon.

    The video, from a surveillance camera at LaFonda Restaurant, seemed to show the officer lifting 44-year-old Irma Marquez by her waist and throwing her face-first to the floor. The defendant was among several Yonkers police officers responding to the restaurant after a fight had broken out there in 2007.

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    A woman is seeking $11 million for a 2007 confrontation with a police officer that ended after she was slammed to the floor of a Yonkers bar. (Published Tuesday, May 19, 2009)

    Simoes' colleagues later told investigators they thought his use of force was excessive. Marquez was knocked unconscious and her jaw was broken.

    Defense attorneys claimed the video was misleading and that Simoes was simply trying to keep Marquez from interfering with medical technicians who were treating her niece after the fight. His attorneys also said he slipped on a wet floor when he had Marquez in her grasp.

    But prosecutor Anna Skotko told the jurors, "Trust your eyes," when showing the video.

    Simoes, who could have gotten 10 years had he been convicted, was acquitted of violating Marquez's constitutional protection from excessive police force.