Black leaders call for justice in woman's beating

Posted: Updated:

Members of the National Black Police Association and NAACP called for change Sunday at a Yonkers news conference after video was released showing a cop slamming a woman.

The groups want local politicians and police to address what they feel is a longstanding practice of police brutality against Westchester minorities. While an internal probe cleared Officer Wayne Simoes in the 2007 incident, the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating.

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore is now investigating the case and defending her office against claims that she didn't act soon enough.

Simoes was later promoted to detective, which outrages community leaders. "To slam a woman, put her in the hospital and bring her up on trumped up charges ? which took her a year to beat ? and now to get promoted in the process. That's ridiculous," said Damon Jones, of the National Black Police Association.

Their outrage is in response to stunning video that was recently released. It shows Simoes throwing 44-year-old Irma Marquez on the floor face-first. Authorities maintain Marquez was blocking officers from helping her niece, who was hurt in a fight.

A jury acquitted Marquez last month on charges stemming from the case. She has filed an $11.3 million lawsuit against Simoes, nine other Yonkers officers and the city.

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