A Recent History of NYPD Brutality

Anthony Baez

Date: December 1994

Anthony Baez, 29, was killed at Cameron Place in the Bronx following a confrontation with NYPD officers. Baez, a security guard, and his brothers were playing football during the early hours of December 22 when they struck a police vehicle with the ball more than once. They were ordered home by Officer Francis Livoti, but elected to continue with their game, just in the opposition direction. When Baez's brother, David, refused Livoti's direct orders to leave, he was arrested for disorderly conduct. Livoti then attempted to arrest Baez, who was protesting his brother's arrest. A scuffle soon followed, where officers claimed it took four of them to restrain the 270 pound, asthmatic Baez. He was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead.

According to the New York City Medical Examiner, Baez' official cause of death was asphyxiation caused by "compression of his neck and chest" and acute asthma. Livoti denied using a chokehold; three officers testified that they had not see him use the chokehold, and that Baez was resisting arrest. However, Baez's father and brothers say that Livoti did use a chokehold, and that his body was limp when he was handcuffed.

Livoti was indicted for second degree manslaughter in March 1995, and then re-indicted for criminally negligent homicide in December 1995. His trial began in September 1996; he was acquitted. Unbound by double jeopardy, federal prosecutors stepped in and used the same statute used to convict the officers who beat Rodney King in L.A. in 1991. Livoti was eventually convicted by a Federal court in June 1998 for violating Baez's civil rights. He was sentenced to seven years in a federal prison. He was released in April 2005 after serving six and a half years. After filing a $13 million wrongful death suit against, Baez's widow settled for $3 million in 1998.

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