Cops Who Pepper-Sprayed, Punched Occupy Protesters Escape DA Charges

After more than a year, the Manhattan District Attorney has finally dished out some slow-moving "justice" to a pair of infamous cops who punched or pepper-sprayed Occupy Wall Street protesters: do absolutely nothing.

On Friday, the Manhattan District Attorney announced that it won't be prosecuting either Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, who showered a couple of calm, sequestered Occupy Wall Street protesters with pepper spray, or Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona, who punched a protester in the face a month later during a demonstration in the financial district.

"After a thorough investigation...we cannot prove these allegations criminally beyond a reasonable doubt," said the chief spokesperson for the DA's office, Erin Duggan.

Investigators were unable to determine that the acts were unjustified, said a law enforcement source—even though both acts were caught on viral video (pepper spray here, sucker-punch here.)

Said Felix Rivera-Pitre, the protester who was punched, to Gothamist:

The cop just lunged at me full throttle and hit me on the left side of my face. It tore my earring out...I'm HIV positive and that cop should get tested.

Lawyers of the victims suing the cops are less than thrilled with the call. Ron Kuby, attorney for one of one of the pepper-spray victims, called the decision "cowardly and despicable," reported the New York Times.

Bologna, who has been accused of civil rights violations in the past, has claimed that he was aiming the pepper spray at (nonexistent?) men grabbing at cops' ankles, unseen in the video. NYPD first stood by their man, claiming that pepper spray was used "appropriately", according to the Times. Later, though, they docked him 10 vacation days and moved his post to Staten Island. Oh, and we're sure this part is totally unrelated, but Bologna has been with NYPD for about 30 years.

[Image from AP.]