Felix Rivera-Pitre, the protester who was punched by NYPD Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona during a Occupy Wall Street march on October 14, met with the Manhattan DA's office yesterday. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne had claimed that Rivera-Pitre attempted to elbow Cardona, and that they intended to arrest him. To us, it appeared that Rivera-Pitre did nothing more than shoot him a sour glance. "I certainly gave him the 'queen' look, like how dare you touch me," Rivera-Pitre told DNAinfo yesterday outside the DA's office. Cardona chose him to punch because "I look like a pansy."
He tells NY1 that Cardona "wanted me to get on the sidewalk, he grabbed this arm and asked me to get on the sidewalk. There is a lot of people and I said there is no sidewalk to get on. And he punched me." Rivera-Pitre's attorney, Ron Kuby, said that Cardona filed a report 10 hours after the video of the punch hit the internet that claimed Rivera-Pitre shoved him, something the video itself does not show.
Prosecutors met with Kuby and Rivera-Pitre for two hours, reviewing video, and authorities told them that their investigation would continue, and that no arrests would be made until it concluded. "This is not simply an otherwise good man who was just having a bad day," Kuby said of Cardona, referring to the officer's "pattern and practice of assault." While Cardona's punch is being investigated by the New York Civilian Complaint Review Board, he can also be seen in a separate September incident grabbing another protester by her throat and dragging her to the ground, seemingly unprovoked.