Attorney: Video shows Freeport man charged with resisting arrest didn’t have chance to resist
The attorney of a Freeport man who is charged with assault and resisting arrest provided video evidence that he said shows his innocence.
Akbar Rogers, of Freeport, is charged with assault in the second degree and resisting arrest.
Cellphone video that captured Rogers' arrest went viral earlier this month. In it, Freeport police officers are seen punching the suspect, while ordering him to stop resisting arrest. A Taser being deployed can also be heard in the video.
Freeport police have said Rogers had previously led officers on a high-speed chase and that on the day the video was taken, Rogers bolted from his home on East Seaman Avenue when they showed up with a warrant for a prior alleged incident.
Rogers’ attorney, Randy Zelin, released an extended version of the video that he said shows Rogers never had the chance to assault anyone.
“We have it from the second that it started, and they have the nerve to yell ‘stop resisting’ as if they're planning their cover up, how could the man resist?” Zelin said.
Zelin waived the case directly to the grand jury, putting the Nassau District Attorney’s Office on notice that it will have to present the case directly to the grand jury or come back with a motion to dismiss.
“We beg the district attorney's office - do your investigation. And when you do, there's only one conclusion - you have the wrong defendant, the right defendants are in Freeport with badges,” Zelin said.
However, Bill Petrillo, the attorney for the Freeport police officers, said he doesn’t see the video in the same light.
"It is crystal clear from the video that the individual ignored repeated commands to stop resisting and that the police used reasonable and necessary force to effect this lawful arrest of the violently resisting man,” said Petrillo.
The Nassau District Attorney's Office declined comment.