A police officer fired from the New Orleans Police Department for the post-Katrina beating of a retired school teacher was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing on Tuesday, declared "not guilty" of battery and false imprisonment by Judge Frank Marullo.
The incident on Bourbon Street received international attention, as the altercation between several law enforcement officers and 64-year-old Robert Davis was captured on videotape.
But Marullo said the defense proved their case that instead of the beating decried by prosecutors, the video showed that Davis was resisting the officers' attempts to handcuff him. Robert Evangelist, who then had been on the force for two years, didn't use excessive force, the judge concluded.
"I don't even find it was a close call. I saw five minutes of struggling to put on the cuffs," Marullo said, of the scenes in the video where Davis is pushed against a wall and then on the ground with four police officers over him.
"I don't even find it was a close call"