After "an extensive and thorough investigation," Queens D.A. Richard Brown has decided not to prosecute an NYPD officer who was accused of assaulting a judge without provocation on a Queens street. Justice Thomas Raffaele, a State Supreme Court judge who primarily handles divorce proceedings, had accused the unidentified officer of "striking him in the throat with a military-style karate chop, sending him to his knees in great pain." But in a statement [pdf] explaining his decision, D.A. Brown argues that he simply didn't have enough to get a conviction:

We find that there is insufficient evidence of criminality to support a charge that the police officer acted with intent to injure or that physical injury (as defined by statute and case law) occurred. The People would have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the police officer intentionally and unjustifiably struck Justice Raffaele and that the Judge sustained physical injury. Based on our investigation, we are unable to sustain that burden. We also find no criminality regarding the alleged failure of a police sergeant failing to take a report from Justice Raffaele.

The back story: Raffaele was headed home shortly after midnight when he came upon a handcuffed man lying face down and screaming on the sidewalk in Jackson Heights, with two police officers standing over him. One officer—the one who would soon assault Raffaele—was allegedly dropping his knee onto the man's back repeatedly. Raffaele says he called 911 because an outraged crowd was gathering and he was concerned the situation could spiral into further violence.

Raffaele, who was not arrested, says one of the officers became enraged at the crowd and charged at him, "striking him in the throat with a military-style karate chop." Brown launched an investigation, but during a subsequent meeting with Judge Raffaele, he claims they told him "they interviewed a number of police officers and that they said I was acting aggressively, that I was yelling. One of them said my throat was sore because I was yelling — not because I got hit in the throat."

The D.A. has now tossed it over to the Civilian Complaint Review Board and Internal Affairs. Raffaele tells the Times he's "shocked" by the decision not to prosecute, adding, "to be in a situation where somebody smashes you in the neck and just walks away from it because they are a police officer — when I did nothing to provoke this attack — I feel it’s dangerous, not just for me but for any other citizen, because officers end up feeling that they can do anything and that there will be no consequences. I think it has a bad effect on the police force because they feel there are no consequences."