A man seen on video being beaten up by police in the basement of a Crown Heights Jewish Center is suing the city, surprising no one. You recall the story: Ehud Halevy, 21, had permission to sleep in the basement of the building, which also serves as a homeless shelter for at-risk youths. But the volunteer security guard apparently didn't know that and, when he discovered Halevy sleeping on a couch one night in October, he called the cops. Upon their arrival, a rudely awakened Halevy tried to explain that he'd been sleeping there for a month with permission, but things went sideways pretty quickly:

After the beating and four days in jail, Halevy was charged with felonious assault of a police officer, trespassing, marijuana possession, and other charges, which could have gotten him a seven-year sentence. But it later became clear that the officer's account on the arrest report did not match the video, and the Brooklyn DA dropped the charges. Even NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly called the video disturbing. This week Halevy, who is being represented by famed civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel, filed a federal civil-rights suit against the arresting officers and the city.

Siegel tells us his client still bears emotional scars from the incident. "He's on the couch, he has permission to be there, he gets rousted by officers, and without provocation they beat him for more than two minutes, punching him all over his body,' says Siegel. "Looking at the video, you can see the male officer hit him more than two dozen times and woman repeatably strikes him with a baton between a dozen and twenty times. She pepper spays in his face in eyes. This goes on for more than two minutes, and as a result that kind of emotional trauma that happened that evening is still with him.

"They caused Ehud to sustain not only physical pain but psychological and emotional trauma. Their actions constituted outrageous and reckless conduct and they violated his civil rights. Whenever I talked to him and asked him to go over details of that night you could see in this face he tenses up and he has to relive what happened on October 8th and that creates emotional scars. They will be with him for a long time, I think."

Asked about the NYPD's initial claim that Halevy assaulted the officers, Siegel says, "In most of these cases you don't have a video. An officer punches someone a couple of times and either the officer catches himself or a partner stops him. Here the beating continues for more than two minutes. You don't usually get a video demonstrating clear evidence of this stark, repeated police brutality. So when I watch it I'm seeing that Ehud is the victim of it."

Siegel says the lawsuit seeks compensatory damages to be determined at trial, and he feels confident about the case. "The police commissioner, to his credit, says he was disturbed by what he saw on the video. All New Yorkers should be disturbed. But Michael Bloomberg has not said a word on this case. The female cop is still at the precinct and the other officer was transferred. They have not been punished. "