NYPD leader says officers bludgeoned 2 men with batons in self-defense

NEW YORK — New York City’s police commissioner is defending officers who were recorded bludgeoning two people with batons.

Commissioner James O’Neill said Friday that the officers were defending themselves after being attacked by a man with a history of getting into fights with police and then filing lawsuits over the altercations.

O’Neill also slammed the Manhattan District Attorney’s office over its handling of the case.

He said prosecutors were wrong not to charge one of the men involved in the brawl, and wrong to let the other one go without requesting bail.

A spokesman for the district attorney’s office defended its handling of the case.

A civil rights lawyer representing the two men involved in the fight called for a grand jury investigation of the police response, which he said was excessive.

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