Philly officer charged with assault in 2011 event

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia police officer has been suspended with intent to dismiss following charges of simple assault and official oppression stemming from an incident during the city’s Puerto Rican Day festival 1½ years ago.

The Philadelphia district attorney’s office says Officer Aquil Byrd got into a verbal confrontation with another man during the September 2011 event.

Officials allege that he followed the other man into a takeout restaurant and was recorded on surveillance video striking him and grabbing him by the throat.

A representative of the Fraternal Order of Police said Wednesday he was unaware of the action and declined immediate comment.

Another police officer videotaped striking a woman at a street party in north Philadelphia after last fall’s Puerto Rican Day parade was acquitted of simple assault earlier this year.

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