NYPD Sergeant Phillip Wong entered a plea of not guilty Thursday after being indicted in Manhattan Supreme Court of assaulting prisoners.
CBS NY reports he pleaded not guilty to third degree assault charges during his arraignment.
According to ABC7, Wong is accused of punching a 48-year-old man in a jail cell and attacking a 35-year old man in a subway station.
“When NYPD officers head into the field each day to face unknown and potentially life-threatening situations, they do one of the most difficult jobs in the world,” District Attorney Cy Vance said. “But having sworn an oath to protect and serve their communities, those difficult jobs need to be carried out with the utmost integrity and professionalism, especially by officers in leadership. As alleged, this sergeant grossly violated his training and the law during the arrests of these two individuals, whose conduct did not justify these violent responses.”
Wong’s defense attorney said on at least one occasion, his client was set off by the use of anti-Asian slurs directed at him.
“People in this city feel it’s perfectly in their jurisdiction and right to simply call a cop whatever they want, and they are right, First Amendment protects free speech. But at some point somebody has got to start to realize that cops are not getting paid enough to have racial and ethnic slurs hurled int their faces every single time they step out of a police car,” said Andrew Quinn to CBS NY.
Prosecutors are pushing for 60 days in jail for Wong. He’s due back in court in October.
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