Yonkers officer accused of brutality

May 30, 2008 6:36:33 PM PDT
A woman in Yonkers has filed a lawsuit after she says she as beaten unconscious by police officer. And then, she was charged with a crime. And it was all captured on videotape.

Irma Marquez is suing for $11 million. A Yonkers jury acquitted of all charges in early May. Now, she has filed a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit against the Yonkers police officer.

That officers arrested the 44-year-old home health aid after having beaten her unconscious. The violent attack, captured entirely on surveillance video, resulted in Marquez' hospitalization with a fractured jaw, concussion, two black eyes and facial lacerations, as well as bruises and swelling over her neck, torso and numerous other parts of her body.

The videotape, which was reviewed by the Westchester County District Attorney Office's, clearly demonstrates the officer lifting Marquez off her feet and driving her face first into the ceramic tile floor of the restaurant where the incident occurred. Marquez' lawyer claims District Attorney Janet DiFiore proceeded with unjust prosecution of the victim rather than charge the perpetrating officer.

Marquez was allegedly accosted by police when she leaned over to get a better view of the medical assistance being provided to her niece, who was earlier rendered unconscious when struck by another unapprehended assailant while patronizing the La Fonda Restaurant at 57 Palisade Avenue in Yonkers on March 3, 2007.

It is alleged that police Officer Wayne Simoes slammed Marquez to the floor, then handcuffed and charged the unconscious and seriously injured woman with Obstruction of Governmental Administration and Disorderly Conduct. On May 9, 2008 a jury acquitted Marquez of all charges.

"If anyone other than a police officer was caught on tape doing what Officer Simoes did to Irma Marques, they would have rightfully been arrested and prosecuted," Marquez' attorney, Gary Certain, said.

Certain, who represented Marquez in the criminal case and filed the federal lawsuit, added, "This case suggests that Janet DiFiore's Office may not be capable of honestly prosecuting egregious police misconduct."