PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia police officer was arrested Wednesday after being accused of striking a man at the 2011 Puerto Rican Day Parade, the police department announced – the second such incident for the department in less than a year.
According to police, 12-year veteran Officer Aquil Byrd was arrested by the department's Internal Affairs unit.
The arrest stems from a Sept. 25, 2011 incident during that year's parade, when a man claims Byrd allegedly hit him once in the face and then grabbed him by the throat.
The alleged incident happened near the 3000 block of North Front Street. Police say the officer was called to clear a large crowd. The incident was not documented by the officer, and no one was arrested, according to investigators.
Byrd was later removed from street patrol and placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation of the incident, police said.
The report was then sent to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, which has approved charges for simple assault and official oppression, both misdemeanors of the second degree.
Byrd will be suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss, according to the department. Byrd was assigned to the department's Narcotics Strike Force.
Wednesday's arrest comes on the heels of an incident last year in which a Philadelphia police lieutenant was captured on camera striking a woman during the parade. Lt. Jonathan Josey was later dismissed from his position and faced a misdemeanor second-degree simple assault charge. Josey was acquitted of that charge in February.
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