We members of the Aliya Congregation are calling upon the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office to immediately drop all charges against Ehud Halevy, a member of our congregation who was attacked by two New York City police officers.
The Aliya (Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults) Congregation is a spiritual center for at risk youth. We gave Ehud Halevy, a member of our congregation who is currently homeless, full permission to sleep at the center in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. But on October 8, Ehud was aggressively woken up from his sleep in the middle of the night, wrongly accused of trespassing, then repeatedly and violently attacked by two police officers. The brutal attack was all caught on video and shows the officers continuing to beat Ehud despite his lack of resistance. Ehud told the police he had permission to be there but at no point before the beating took place did the police try to contact anyone from the center.
After being severely beaten and pepper sprayed by the officers, Ehud was arrested, held for four days, and charged with a felony count of assault on police officers and three misdemeanors: resisting arrest, obstruction and criminal trespass. The full attack was caught on security camera and clearly shows that it does not match the police report filed by the police officers which said that Mr. Halevy was swinging his fists and striking police. We believe the police fabricated the police report that they submitted and have failed to publicly acknowledge what really happened that night.
Of the two officers involved, Luis Vega and Yelena Bruzzese, only Vega has been slightly reprimanded. He was placed on desk duty and had his gun taken away. This is not an adequate response from the New York City Police Department and doesnt even begin to justify the abuse that Ehud has undergone.
A foundation of our moral and belief system is that we are all created in the image of God and must all adhere to the "7 Noahite laws" regardless of race or religion to ensure we live in a safe and law abiding society. These 7 laws are do not kill, do not steal, do not commit adultery believe in one God, do not blaspheme Gods name, do not be cruel to animals and to establish a system of justice.
We want members of our youth center to feel like they are coming to a safe haven and a place they can call home and be protected and that trust was lost. We are calling on the Brooklyn District Attorney to drop all charges against Ehud immediately, he has suffered enough.
Video of the brutal attack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZppfNQJa-XI&list=UU56WwNsqpbjme7r-URpl3OA&feature=plcp