The man accused of attacking police in Times Square was misidentified, the district attorney says

(Uncredited / Associated Press)

The man accused of attacking police in Times Square was misidentified, the district attorney says


March 1, 2024

A Venezuelan man who became the subject of national attention for allegedly kicking a police officer in New York’s Times Square and then turning off the news cameras as he left court was cleared of wrongdoing on Friday after prosecutors concluded he had no role played in attack. .



exemption by Manhattan Dist. Atty. Alvin Bragg arrived weeks after Jhoan Boada, 22


vilified as the smug face of a Jan. 27 brawl between migrants and police officers in New York City that culminated in


widespread political fury.

He was prominently featured in a pro-Donald Trump political ad titled Joe Biden’s Middle Finger, which ended with a still image of Boada making the gesture while leaving his hand behind.



In a Manhattan courtroom Friday, prosecutors told a judge that further investigation showed Boada did not participate in the attack. The man seen in the video kicking an officer wearing pink shoes was initially identified by police as Boada and is believed to be someone else. The man has been charged and is awaiting criminal arraignment.

A lawyer for Boada, Javier Damien, said his client was the victim of a rush to judgment by the media, police and elected officials.

It was a political football and people were being attacked with a broad brush, he said. It’s very sad.

Boada, who lives in

a New York city

homeless shelter, had maintained his innocence from the start. During his arraignment on January 31, his attorney told the judge that Boada had asked to share surveillance video of the incident


Because anyone who watches the videotape won’t see it there.”

Prosecutors agreed to release Boada without bail, noting that he had no criminal history, and that


are working on a thorough analysis of the incident and the defendants’ role in it, according to a transcript of the proceedings.

At the time,

News of Boada’s release provoked fiery reactions from conservative media

the cities

police officers. In an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, NYPD Chief John Chell suggested that Boada and others fled the city on a bus, an accusation later contradicted by officials.

To make matters worse for all of us, and we were very well-meaning people in New York City, to literally give us the finger on the way out, Chell continued. This is a whole host of issues we need to talk about, and it stops here.

The Governor of New York. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat,


lashed out at the prosecutor’s decision not to seek bail, adding


involved in the attack must be deported.

In the weeks after the brawl, the Manhattan district attorney acknowledged that some of the people initially accused of kicking police turned out to have played a less significant role in the fight than previously thought.

We must ensure that we identify and charge the individuals who actually committed criminal offenses in this case, Bragg said. The only thing worse than failing to bring perpetrators to justice would be ensnaring innocent people in the criminal justice system.

The assault charges

against a 21 year old

were downgraded to tampering with evidence after prosecutors determined Boada did not touch the police officers


had traded his jacket with one of the men who fled the confrontation.


furthermore, a

19 years old


allegedly assaulted officers



physically touch the officers,

but apparently kicked a police radio. Prosecutors also dropped assault charges against A


21 year old due to lack of evidence

tie him into the brawl



Boada’s lawyer,


Boada’s client

was when confused police arrested him on assault charges two days after the incident, but he struggled to defend himself in English.

He tried to explain to the officer that he was not there, the lawyer said. But they wouldn’t listen to him.


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