Cecilia DowdFeb 5, 2018, 6:41 pm

Closing arguments made in Rockville Centre police officer assault case

Judge expected to hand down verdict on Tuesday


MINEOLA — Both sides in the trial for Rockville Centre police Officer Anthony Federico finished closing arguments Monday, leaving it to a judge to issue a verdict on Tuesday.

Federico is charged with assault in connection with a May 2016 fight involving brothers Kevin and Brendan Kavanagh. Federico's trial is a bench trial, meaning the verdict solely rests in the hands of the judge; there is no jury.

Prosecutors have said Federico used excessive force when he allegedly took his Taser and beat Kevin Kavanagh on the head. The defense has argued the officer’s actions were justified, saying that he was alone, surrounded by a hostile crowd that included a "coked up" Kevin Kavanagh. Both brothers admitted to drinking that night, and Kevin admitted to doing cocaine prior to the incident with Federico.

A key point of evidence is cell phone video showing a violent Federico. But, the defense has pointed out it doesn't show everything and says the situation was dangerous for Federico who, they say, was punched in the face, in addition to being kicked at by Brendan Kavanagh. The defense believes that Federico's actions on the night in question were "perfectly proper." But the prosecution said Monday he aggressively and unnecessarily used force.

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