PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A judge on Tuesday allowed criminal charges to go forward against a former Philadelphia SWAT officer. Richard Nicoletti was caught on video pepper-spraying protestors during a protest following the murder of George Floyd.
Nicoletti used the pepper spray in June of last year to clear the protesters from the Vine Street Expressway.READ MORE: Shooting In Southwest Philadelphia Leaves 4 Men Injured, Police Say
The Philadelphia Police Department then fired Nicoletti.
This past spring, a municipal judge dismissed the case against Nicoletti. But District Attorney Larry Krasner refiled charges, including recklessly endangering another person and assault.READ MORE: Temple University Student Samuel Sean Collington Killed In Off-Campus Shooting In North Philadelphia
On Tuesday, Krasner said in a statement, “I am grateful today that a Common Pleas judge watched the same video millions of us watched last summer and agreed that this matter should be pursued and resolved in a court of law.”
Krasner’s full statement is below:
“Today, a Court of Common Pleas judge helped ensure that my office is able to apply evenhanded and equal accountability to people who unlawfully inflict harm on others — regardless of their title, status, or official position with the City of Philadelphia. We will continue to proceed with criminal prosecution of former PPD officer Richard Nicoletti, whose actions on June 1, 2020, on I-676, were captured on video and widely shared and viewed by Americans and people around the world,” Krasner said in a statement.
“Speaking broadly, public confidence in institutions is eroded when people are told by powerful, largely unaccountable figures that something they’ve seen with their own eyes did not actually occur, or is only a problem when just certain people are the doers. The largest and most sustained mass protests against racial and social injustice in American history occurred last year because the people who watched the torturous murder of George Floyd, caught on camera, exercised their constitutionally protected right to protest when told once again not to trust their lying eyes.
“I am grateful today that a Common Pleas judge watched the same video millions of us watched last summer and agreed that this matter should be pursued and resolved in a court of law.”
Philadelphia FOP President John McNesby also weighed in on the ruling.MORE NEWS: 'The Whole World Is Going To See It': Art From Nebinger Elementary Students To Be Featured On National Christmas Tree
“Once again, it must be re-election time for DA Larry Krasner as he continues to issue press releases on filing criminal charges against Philadelphia police officers. Krasner refuses to hold dozens of unlawful protesters accountable, those who set fire and looted our great city. This double-standard of justice is unacceptable. We will continue to provide an appropriate defense for officer Nicoletti as this case moves forward,” McNesby said in a statement.