Officer Anthony Federico responded to a call about a bar brawl when he encountered two violent drunks, one with cocaine in his system. Now, Officer Federico stands accused of felony assault, but recently emerging cell phone video is exposing the real truth about what happened that night.
Blue Lives Matter reports that Federico arrived on the scene at South Park Avenue in Long Island, New York, to find two brothers struggling on the sidewalk. Kevin Kavanagh, 25, was being helped off of the ground by Brendan Kavanagh, 20, as Federico approached in an attempt to get information from them. Both suspects are said to have been intoxicated. In fact, Kevin had a .20 blood alcohol level and cocaine was also in his system at the time.
Reportedly, Kevin suddenly attacked Federico, hitting him in the head. A cell phone video from the scene starts just after the strike and has been intentionally edited to remove the initial attack on the officer. When Kevin resisted arrest, Federico pushed him up against a fence and the drunk grabbed him by the back of the neck and also made a grab attempt near his gun. Eventually, Federico deployed his taser as a complete melee broke out.
Watch video of the incident for yourself, below:
Attorneys on both sides of the issue have expressed conflicting views of what happened that night.
“The police officer was under attack,” said William Petrillo, the attorney for Rockville Centre Police Officer Anthony Federico. “Strike, resist, use force and assault a uniformed police officer who ironically was there trying to help them,” Petrillo said.
“You are looking at a police officer who lost control. He just lost it,” said Joseph Dell, the attorney for the Kavanagh brothers. “Officer Federico attacked three innocent people, injured all three,” Dell said. “I see Officer Federico punching, throwing upper cuts with a Taser in his hand.” [Source: CBS]
In the video, it is clear that Brendan went on to kick Federico, who now faces charges of felony third-degree assault, two counts of falsifying business records, and offering a false instrument for filing. The false reporting charges appear to stem from Federico failing to report that he used his Taser to strike one of the suspects.
While lawyers can claim that missing a detail from a fight is evidence of criminality, the reality is that it is completely normal for people to experience memory loss in combat. This is something that is hard for anybody to actually understand who hasn’t experienced stress from combat. This stress-induced memory loss is not just some oddball thing which rarely happens. Most people will be unable to remember all details after being involved in a fight.
Remembering absolutely every strike or every detail from a fight is actually impossible for most people, and it’s something that people may not even realize unless they try to write down all of the details and find that there are gaps in their memory. [Source: Blue Lives Matter]
Fortunately, Federico is receiving an outpouring of support from fellow officers and attorneys.
The members of the Nassau County PBA STAND UNITED with Rockville Centre Police Officer Anthony Federico! Newsday coverage.
Posted by Nassau County PBA on Wednesday, March 8, 2017
We hope and pray that Federico gets a fair chance to defend himself in court, as it appears that his opponents would deny him the chance to defend himself while doing his job on the streets. The work of a police officer is often thankless, but in this case, it is not just.
Drunks with cocaine in their system should not be believed over a faithful veteran officer. This is precisely the kind of lie that gives many heroic police officers a bad name. Federico, and those like him, deserve better.