Watch CBS News

Jury deliberations resume for ex-cop seen pepper spraying protestors on I-676

No verdict yet in Nicoletti case
No verdict yet in Nicoletti case 01:19

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The trial of former Philadelphia SWAT officer Richard Nicoletti ended day two of jury deliberations without a decision. But there are some new developments behind the scenes.

The jury has been deliberating for a total of about nine hours over two days. Deliberations are expected to resume Monday.

Two jurors have been dismissed on Friday. But it's not clear why because deliberations are discussed in secret.

Thirty-five-year-old Nicoletti faces simple assault and other charges after deploying pepper spray in the faces of protestors along the Vine Street Expressway back in 2020.


Nicoletti says he was just following orders. Prosecutors argue the use of force was not necessary.   

They had demonstrated against racial inequities and police brutality following the murder of George Floyd.

The big question the jury is tasked with deciding at trial was: were Nicoletti's actions justified in the few moments captured on camera?

"They have not presented to you anyone who said Richard Nicoletti did anything but his job," Nicoletti's defense attorney Fortunato Perri Jr. said. "He's not a criminal."

Assistant District Attorney Brian Collins had the final word and told the jury: "We're talking about that one moment if that use of force is immediately necessary in that moment...You know it absolutely was not."

La Salle University's Criminal Justice Chair, Charles Gallagher, weighed in on the incident. Gallagher is not associated with Nicoletti's trial but has served as an expert witness on civil rights cases. 

"I don't think there's any police manual where the officer's training involves spraying someone and then walking up and pulling down a mask and spraying them deliberately in the eye and the mouth," said Gallagher.

The day of protests began with a peaceful rally for criminal justice and police reform at City Hall and a march through the city. Then, some of the crowd went onto I-676 during the evening rush hour.

The crowd on the highway was later broken up when the city deployed tear gas.

The city of Philadelphia reached a $9.25 million settlement in March with the protestors involved in the incident.

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.