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Judge apologizes to NYPD cops after man admits he lied about being beaten by officers

Lucas Zeyala. Image credit: NY Daily News.
Lucas Zelaya. Image credit: NY Daily News.

U.S. District Court Judge Frederic Block apologized to four NYPD officers in court after a Brooklyn man’s lawsuit was thrown out when he admitted to lying under oath.

Lucas Zelaya accused the cops of excessive force, claiming they beat him during his arrest in 2013, after he was seen “drunkenly staggering on a Brownsville street carrying an open bottle of beer.”

Zelaya was taken to the 73rd Precinct stationhouse—for not carrying ID – where he allegedly sucker-punched the cop who uncuffed him, the NY Daily News reported.

When Zelaya was being questioned by the city lawyer in Brooklyn Federal Court on Wednesday, his case fell apart. The details he’d given in previous sworn depositions were now changing, under oath, in court.

The Daily News reported that Zelaya had previously testified that three “white Italian cops and a Hispanic” cop attacked him, but none of the officers on trial are Italian and one is a black female.

According to the court transcripts, Zelaya said:  “Now we are in a real court . . . so I am telling the truth because I don’t want to lie to you . . . now that I am before a jury I want to tell the truth.”

Judge Block then sent the jury out of the courtroom and told Zelaya’s attorney: “I don’t think you have much a case here.”

The judge then turned and addressed the officers.

“I’m a professional also and we have to always be mindful of that and not take umbrage because your time has been imposed upon here inappropriately and I hope that my comments to you would embolden you to continue with your excellent work as police officers and it’s a tough job, we know that.”


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