Randy Zelin With Akbar Rogers And Stephen LaMagna

New York’s criminal defense super attorney Randy Zelin has prevailed in his latest high-profile case, with charges dropped against client Akbar Rogers – an African-American man who was punched, tased and kicked by white police officers as he lay on the ground during an arrest in Freeport last December. 

 But Zelin says the fight for justice for his client is far from over. Zelin is now taking on the office of Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas, who declined to bring charges against at least seven Freeport officers who were caught on camera brutalizing Rogers. The mayor of Freeport’s son and nephew were among the officers engaged in the incident. 

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer have now joined Zelin’s call to open a federal investigation into the officer’s misconduct.

 “These plain clothes police were ostensibly there to issue Mr. Rogers a summons for a non-criminal violation,” says Zelin, the Head of Wilk Auslander's Criminal Law Practice who has specialized in white collar criminal defense for the last 30 years and represented clients such as the Fiat industrial dynasty, entrepreneur Lapo Elkann, as well as numerous business organizations, boards of directors, special committees, professionals and individuals in all aspects of criminal, regulatory, self-regulatory and civil matters.

 “Suddenly you have numerous officers punching, beating and Tasing him,” he says. “The officers put their full weight on top of Mr. Rogers and he screamed: ‘I can’t breathe.’ Ultimately, Mr. Rogers suffered numerous physical and emotional injuries, including injuries to his shoulder, wrist and head, as well as burns from the taser. Amazingly, but in a misguided effort to cover up their own criminal conduct, Mr. Rogers was charged with assaulting the police officers and resisting arrest. We were successful in convincing the District Attorney to dismiss the charges against Mr. Rogers, however, they made the poor decision not to charge the officers with assault or for engaging in official misconduct.” 

Now, on the behalf of Rogers, Zelin will continue to fight to bring those officers to justice and to attack “the systemic racism African-Americans like Rogers and George Floyd face from law enforcement” 

“We are working diligently to convince the District Attorney that she made a grave mistake in deciding not to charge these officers,” says Zelin, who has recently appeared on Fox News, Newsmax and CBS This Morning to discuss police brutality, and has been interviewed by Newsweek Magazine and Newsday as well. “The complete and utter travesty of justice in this case has enraged the community.”

 Zelin is working with the Long Island Progressive Coalition, the Justice League, community leaders and activists, and has reached out to the New York State Attorney General and the Department of Justice, asking those jurisdictions to open an investigation. “I should be thrilled to have done my job and that the charges against Mr. Rogers were dismissed,” says Zelin. “But I could not be more unhappy or unsatisfied that the DA would allow the systemic mistreatment of men of color by white police officers to go unpunished. We are going to press as hard as we can to have these officers held criminally responsible.” 

For more information on Randy Zelin, visit: www.wilkauslander.com

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Photo Courtesy Of Lawlor Media Group / Raychel Brightman