Prosecutors Want to Reinstate Charges Against Beaten Former Student

Prosecutors Want to Reinstate Charges Against Beaten Former Student

ALBANY, N.Y. — Prosecutors are seeking to reinstate assault charges against a former College of Saint Rose student who accused two police officers of beating him.

County Judge Larry Rosen had thrown out third-degree assault and resisting arrest charges against 23-year-old Jermaine Henderson last August. The judge ruled that Henderson, who is Black, made self-incriminating statements when he testified before a grand jury in the case.

Earlier this month, prosecutors argued before the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court that Henderson should not be granted immunity for his grand jury testimony.

Henderson’s statements were gratuitously volunteered, and so “he is not entitled to transactional immunity under the law,” argued Assistant District Attorney Christopher Horn.

The charges stem from an October 1997 bar brawl with two Albany police officers, William Bonanni and Sean McKenna. Henderson was arrested after the fight, and later said that he was beaten at a police garage while he was handcuffed (see Black Issues, Jan. 7,1999).

A jury acquitted the officers in March. Henderson did not testify at the trial, apparently fearing that the assault charge would be reinstated if he admitted on the stand to his role in the bar fight.

The former college basketball star is the son of former Boston Celtics and New York Knicks player Gerald Henderson. Now working in Illinois, the younger Henderson — prior to the trial — agreed to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought against the city for $60,000.

Despite the acquittal, the officers remain suspended with pay while the police department conducts administrative hearings into the alleged beating in the police garage. Department officials have said they would like to have the officers dismissed.

COPYRIGHT 1999 Cox, Matthews & Associates

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