Watch CBS News

Akbar Rogers Case Dismissed: 'I'm Very Overwhelmed'

FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - A 45-year-old Long Island father learned Friday he will not stand trial.

All charges have been dropped against him.

Video of Freeport police beating the man was captured by a neighbor's cellphone and helped in the dismissal.

As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports, the video went viral and is difficult to watch.

Freeport police were serving Akbar Rogers, a father of three, with an arrest warrant for pushing a pregnant woman when chaos broke out. Akbar denied pushing, and police claimed he then resisted arrest.

Days before his trial was to begin, that harassment charge has been dropped "due to witness unavailability," and Rogers was cleared of felony assault and resisting arrest charges following a Nassau DA investigation.

"I'm very overwhelmed. Ecstatic. Feeling a big relief," Rogers said.

His attorneys claim if not for the neighbor recording it all on her cellphone, Rogers would be locked up.

"When you have a video showing eight police officers beating, tazing, and suffocating one man who is already face down," said defense attorney Randy Zelin.

The DA's public corruption bureau will bring no criminal charges against the Freeport police, ruling the "degree of force was justified by law and policy."

Rogers and his attorneys have filed a $25 million lawsuit against Nassau County, the Village of Freeport, and the eight officers involved in the arrest.

Two of the officers are sons of the village mayor, who requested the independent probe.

"There's a lot of good law enforcement who their job the right way, but every day I turn on the TV and see injustice, even after the George Floyd scenario," Rogers said.

Wounds that are hard to heal.

"We are a tightly knit family. My mom and my children were deeply affected," he said.

He hopes his ordeal will stand for something.

"Nobody, race, color, creed to go through that. It's senseless," he said.

Freeport police and Nassau County say they can't respond to CBS2 due to the pending litigation.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.