(00:08) Group of police officers approach a family of vendors packing up their table, telling them to leave.

(00:40) An officer asks Daza’s sister, Cindy Daza, how old she is. Jonathan tells her she doesn’t have to answer. Officer begins questioning Jonathan Daza.

(01:39) Jonathan Daza is pulled to the ground by a group of officers.

(02:21) Vincent Ciardiello enters the frame, walks up and kicks Daza in the back while he is pinned to the ground.

(2:45) Wendy Daza, another sister, is arrested while protesting the violence.

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14 September 2014

Unprovoked, Officer Kicks Street Vendor in Back

Jonathan Daza, a 22-year-old street vendor, was packing up his fruit stand with his family after a Fifth Avenue street fair when a large group of officers approached the table and told the family they needed to leave, and that their permit ended at 6pm. One of the officers began questioning Daza’s sister, Cindy Daza, and Jonathan told her she didn’t have to respond. The officer then turned his attention to Jonathan and began grabbing him.

Eyewitness video shows the scene escalating quickly. A number of people were restrained, including Jonathan Daza who was pinned to the ground by a group of officers. While on the ground, he was punched by one officer and reportedly told officers “I can’t breathe.” Then Vincent Ciardiello walked up and kicked Daza in the back before walking away.

Another sister, Wendy Daza was also arrested for protesting the violence. Daza’s girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time was also slammed into a table during the incident.

According to a civil lawsuit filed by the family, Daza and his sisters were charged with resisting arrest, harassment and disorderly conduct. As can be seen in multiple videos, numerous other bystanders were restrained, pushed or harassed by officers during the event.

Several days after the incident, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton suspended Ciardiello for 30 days. According to leaked documents published by Buzzfeed, Ciardiello was placed on one year of Dismissal Probation, even though dismissal from the NYPD was suggested. Bratton told reporters “As best as I could tell looking at that video, it seemed to have been totally unprovoked.”

It took five months before Daza was cleared of the charges. The family has sued New York City et al. According to NY1“Daza said he is grateful for the video, which he said proves his innocence and shows people what really happened.”


Cop-bash charges dropped as Sunset Park vendor proves NYPD, prosecutors lied (Kunstler Law)

Prosecutors have dropped the charges against a Sunset Park fruit vendor who was arrested for assault and resisting arrest last fall after a cellphone video contradicted the police account, and proved that the officer who accused him couldn’t have witnessed the crimes he supposedly committed.

Charges Dropped Against Brooklyn Fruit Vendor Whose Arrest Was Caught on Video (NY1)

Police arrested Jonathan Daza in September for assault and resisting arrest after they say he failed to move his fruit stand when a street fair permit expired, but cellphone video showed Officer Vincent Ciardiello kick Daza while he was being taken down.

Assault Charges Dropped For Fruit Vendor After Video Reveals Cop Lied (Gothamist)

A Sunset Park fruit vendor who was charged with assault and resisting arrest in September after an alleged altercation with police has been exonerated, thanks to a cell phone video showing an NYPD officer kicking him without provocation.

VIDEO: NYPD Suspends Officer Caught Kicking Vendor (DNA Info)

72nd Precinct police officer was suspended after he kicked a fruit vendor in the back “totally unprovoked” during an arrest at a neighborhood street fair, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said Wednesday.

Brooklyn vendor given cheap-shot kick by cop says NYPD needs ‘to take care of us better (Daily News)

The Brooklyn fruit vendor who was kicked in the back by a cop after he had been subdued and handcuffed by other officers said he can’t stop thinking about the jarring assault and the officer’s cheap shot.

Street vendor says he was beaten by police in Brooklyn (ABC7)

A street vendor in Brooklyn says he was the victim of New York police brutality. The whole thing was caught on camera. His sisters came to help him and they were arrested too. Now, one of the cops has been suspended.

Voices Carry: How El Grito Is Working to End Police Brutality (Brooklyn Magazine)

The residents of Sunset Park are predominantly Hispanic and Chinese, and as such they are no strangers to aggressive police tactics.

The NYPD’s Secret Files (Buzzfeed News)

Buzzfeed published a trove of NYPD disciplinary records for about 1,800 employees between 2011-2015, Ciardiello was listed in them one time.

 Complaint filed in Supreme Court of the State of New York, Kings County

Dockets & Filings [ Justia ]