A New York judge got his comeuppance after he happened upon an "unruly crowd" of citizens outraged over a team of police officers engaged in apparent police abuse.
The judge thought the crowd was out of control and the "officers may need help," so he called 911 and told them the cops needed backup.
A few minutes later, one of the cops reportedly "became enraged -- and the judge became his target."
After screaming curses at the crowd, the cop walked up to the judge, who was in plain clothes at the time, and for whatever reason, decided to karate chop him in the throat.
Via The New York Times:
Thomas D. Raffaele, a 69-year-old justice of the New York State Supreme Court, encountered a chaotic scene while walking down a Queens street with a friend: Two uniformed police officers stood over a shirtless man lying facedown on the pavement. The man’s hands were cuffed behind his back and he was screaming. A crowd jeered at the officers. Perhaps the judge should have joined the "unruly" crowd rather than rush to call for more goon-squads in uniform.
The judge, concerned the crowd was becoming unruly, called 911 and reported that the officers needed help.
But within minutes, he said, one of the two officers became enraged — and the judge became his target. The officer screamed and cursed at the onlookers, some of whom were complaining about what they said was his violent treatment of the suspect, and then he focused on Justice Raffaele, who was wearing a T-shirt and jeans. The judge said the officer rushed forward and, using the upper edge of his hand, delivered a sharp blow to the judge’s throat that was like what he learned when he was trained in hand-to-hand combat in the Army.
The episode, Friday morning just after midnight — in which the judge says his initial complaint about the officer was dismissed by a sergeant, the ranking supervisor at the scene — is now the focus of investigations by the police Internal Affairs Bureau and the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
The judge said he believed the officer also hit one or two other people during the encounter on 74th Street near 37th Road, a busy commercial strip in Jackson Heights. But he said he could not be sure, because the blow to his throat sent him reeling back and he then doubled over in pain.
“I’ve always had profound respect for what they do,” Justice Raffaele said of the police, noting that he was “always very supportive” of the department during the more than 20 years he served on Community Board 3 in Jackson Heights before becoming a judge. At one point in the early 1990s, he added, he helped organize a civilian patrol in conjunction with the police. “And this I thought was very destructive.”
[...]The judge said he was in “a lot of pain” and went with Mr. Rashid to the emergency room at Elmhurst Hospital Center, where a doctor examined his throat by snaking a tube with a camera on the end through his nose and down his throat to determine whether his trachea had been damaged. The doctor, he said, found no damage; Justice Raffaele was released and told to see his personal doctor for follow-up care.
When they first came upon the crowd, the judge said, he was immediately concerned for the officers and called 911. After he made the call, he said, he saw that one of the officers — the one who he said later attacked him — was repeatedly dropping his knee into the handcuffed man’s back.
His actions, the judge said, were inflaming the crowd, some of whom had been drinking. But among others who loudly expressed their concern, he said, was a woman who identified herself as a registered nurse; she was calling to the officer, warning that he could seriously hurt the unidentified man, who an official later said was not charged.
Hopefully, it's a lesson learned.
Update: Cop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-Free
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