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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lawyer Smells Fishy Cop Deal

Lawyer for Occupy Wall Street organizer Marisa Holmes says charges dropped to keep 'pepper-spray cop' off stand
The New York Daily News by Shayna Jacobs  -  April 30, 2012
Holmes was charged with hindering an arrest by NYPD's Anthony Bologna while filming protest in September

Prosecutors dismissed a case against an Occupy Wall Street organizer so pepper-spray cop Anthony Bologna could avoid testifying, her lawyer says.  Hunter College grad student and documentary filmmaker Marisa Holmes, 25, was charged with hindering the high-ranking cop's arrest of Robert Stephens as she filmed the collar on Sept. 24, the day Bologna pepper-sprayed demonstrators.  Holmes allegedly kicked and flailed her arms as Detective Kenneth O'Donnell tried to handcuff her, although video of the event shows the small-framed Holmes -- weighed down by a heavy backpack -- remaining still.  Her trial was set to begin on Monday, April 16, but prosecutors dismissed the obstruction of governmental administration charge she faced on the Friday before and offered her a conditional dismissal of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges, her attorney Martin Stolar said.  While prosecutors told Holmes' lawyer they would not be calling Bologna as a witness, Stolar make it clear he would have subpoenaed the controversial cop to appear in Manhattan Criminal Court.  "It is my understanding and belief that the reason the charge was withdrawn was to avoid the appearance on the witness stand of Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna," Stolar said.  Holmes, who is planning events for Tuesday's “'May Day” demonstrations, said she wanted to see Bologna testify but accepted the offer because she would have missed classes to fight the charges at trial.  "I would have loved to see 'Tony Baloney' on the stand," she said, referencing a “Daily Show” skit that mocked the Bologna flap.  Bologna was docked 10 vacation days as a punishment for the improper pepper spraying following an Internal Affairs investigation. In October he was transferred from Manhattan South to another assignment at a precinct on Staten Island, where he lives.  The Manhattan district attorney's office declined to comment.

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