New York policeman charged with assault

New York (AFP) - A New York police officer was charged with assault in Brooklyn on Tuesday after allegedly stomping on the head of a suspect lying on the ground, officials said.

The indictment against a serving officer follows protests across the United States demanding legal reforms after a series of police killings of unarmed black men passed without censure.

Joel Edouard, 37, was charged with one count of third-degree assault, one count of third-degree attempted assault and one count of official misconduct in connection with the July 23 incident.

He is the third policeman indicted in three months by prosecutors in Brooklyn who are investigating at least six other cases of police brutality, officials confirmed.

Cell phone video shows the black officer briefly pointing his gun at suspect Jahmiel Cuffee, 32, who is also black, then stomping on his head while he was being handcuffed by other officers.

Cuffee resisted arrest and tussled with officers. He was stopped for allegedly drinking on the sidewalk -- illegal in New York.

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said the assault was "unacceptable for a police officer" but praised the "vast majority of police officers who perform their duties honorably."

Edouard faces up to one year in jail if convicted.

Protests erupted in major cities across the US late last year over what demonstrators say is disproportionate police violence against unarmed African Americans.

Many protesters demanded white police officers be charged for recently shooting dead a number of unarmed black men.

In December, two New York police officers were shot dead in Brooklyn by a mentally disturbed man who claimed to be seeking revenge for some of the deaths.