Officer Arrested for Puerto Rican Day Festival Assault

A Philadelphia police officer has been suspended with intent to dismiss following charges of simple assault and official oppression stemming from an incident during the city's Puerto Rican Day festival over a year ago.
The Philadelphia district attorney's office says Officer Aquil Byrd got into a verbal confrontation with another man during the September 2011 event.
Officials allege that he followed the other man into a takeout restaurant and was recorded on surveillance video striking him and grabbing him by the throat. Police say the man was not arrested or charged with any criminal offense and Byrd never documented the incident.

After reviewing the investigation, the District Attorney's Office approved the simple assault and official oppression charges against Byrd, who surrendered to Internal Affairs on Wednesday.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey will suspend Byrd for 30 days with intent to dismiss. Byrd is a 12-year veteran who was last assigned to the Narcotics Strike Force.
A representative of the Fraternal Order of Police said Wednesday he was unaware of the action and declined immediate comment.
Another police officer videotaped striking a woman at a street party in north Philadelphia after last fall's Puerto Rican Day parade was acquitted of simple assault earlier this year.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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