NYPD Cop Who Was Recorded Punching Occupy Protester in the Face Awarded $120,000 Annual Disability Pension
A New York police officer who was infamously recorded punching an Occupy Wall Street protester in the face has been awarded a tax-free annual disability pension of $120,000 for “injuries he sustained in the melee.”
In October of 2011, Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona was recorded punching Felix Rivera-Pitre in the face during an Occupy Wall Street protest. The video went viral and made news and ultimately Rivera-Pitre sued the NYPD and was awarded a $55,000 settlement.
Meanwhile, Cardona argued that Rivera-Pitre was “the aggressor” and alleged that he “tried to elbow the cop in the face” prior to the punch.
Roy Richter, director of the Captains Endowment Association, says another video shows “Cardona in a headlock and being trampled.” He adds that the cop suffered “serious back injuries and required a hip displacement surgery and operations on both knees.”
That led to the NYPD pension board awarding Cardona a $120,000 annual disability pension, three quarters of which is tax-free.
Attorney Ron Kuby, was represented Rivera-Pitre, was stunned.
“What’s his disability?” he asked. “He hurt his first when he punched Occupy Wall Street protesters? If he went out on psychological disability that would have been appropriate.”
Rivera-Pitre adamantly denied that he instigated anything. He told Gothamist he “shot the cop a look” which “angered the officer.”
The punch tore the earring out of Rivera-Pitre’s ear, leaving him bleeding on the ground.
Now, the NYPD has awarded the officer who brutally attacked him an annual pension worth twice as much each year as the one-time settlement Rivera-Pitre received.