TROY – How videos showing what happened between a local man and police when he was being processed inside the police station for trespassing and marijuana violations will be released was argued in City Court Friday.
The prosecution wants to restrict the videos of the surveillance cameras of the booking, holding cell and other areas to being viewed solely by the defense attorney and defendant Ken Zeoli without any copies being made to be posted on social media or given to the press.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Matthew Hauf argued that the release of the videos should be restrained to prevent widespread release so that the case wouldn’t be tried in “the court of public opinion.”
Defense attorney Matthew Toporowski said the district attorney’s office is shielding the city police. “They don’t want a video that may show police brutality released to the public,” Toporowski said.
The legal papers read by Toporowski in court indicated that the prosecution was concerned about Zeoli’s posting on his social media account.
Zeoli alleges that when he was taken inside the non-public portion of the police station by Sgt. Sean Kittle on Aug. 21 to be booked he was pushed down stairs and had a seizure during the more than three hours he spent in a holding cell. Zeoli claimed his shoulder was injured and his arm ended up in a sling as a result of needing medical attention.
Zeoli and other activists had gone to the police station to file a complaint that chairs had been taken from Barker Park. The city have removed park benches from the park, which has been a gathering spot for homeless people.
Interactions between Zeoli and Kittle, who was working as the desk sergeant, were filmed by both activists and police cameras in the police station lobby. Zeoli was charged with trespassing and taken inside to be processed.
Toporowski has filed for a trial to be held on the two violations and has said a lawsuit is planned.
City Court Judge Christopher Maier met with the two attorneys in a conference in an attempt to reach an agreement on the release of the videos but the matter wasn’t settled. During the hearing, Maier asked specific questions about how the videos in question would compare to videos made in other cases in which a defendant, such as in a drunk driving case, was processed at the time of arrest.
After hearing the arguments, Maier reserved his decision.