Sept. 25--A teacher assistant from North Greenbush who was pepper-sprayed during last year's Occupy Wall Street protests filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Monday against New York City and several police officers.
Kaylee Dedrick, 25, alleges that she was peacefully protesting when Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna pepper-sprayed her in the face at close range, temporarily blinding her and leaving her screaming in pain.
"Ms. Dedrick collapsed to her knees, screaming in agony," according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District in Manhattan.
"The pepper spray seared her eyes, temporarily blinding her and it burned the skin on her face and chest, causing her to feel as if she was on fire. The spray infiltrated her air passage, making it difficult for her to breathe. She choked and gasped for air in between screams for help," the lawsuit states.
Dedrick gave a sworn statement to city attorneys regarding her notice of claim against New York City, but has not yet heard back from city representatives, according to the lawsuit.
A spokeswoman for the New York City Law Department said it has not yet been formally served with the legal papers. The lawsuit will be thoroughly reviewed.
Dedrick is the latest person to file a lawsuit in the incident, said Ronald Kuby, her attorney. The federal civil rights lawsuit was filed on the one-year anniversary of the incident.
"For Kaylee, it was never about the money. It is about making sure that a thug who attacks women in broad daylight is punished, even if he is a deputy inspector," Kuby said in a statement.
Kuby said that even though Bologna's attack was videotaped, New York City District Attorney Cyrus Vance has not filed charges against Bologna.
Kuby said it was insulting that Bologna has been merely disciplined by the New York Police Department, losing 10 vacation days and being transferred to his home borough of Staten Island. Bologna should be charged, Kuby said, with at least misdemeanor assault and receive three years of probation.
Dedrick began a relationship with the civilian medic, Robert Grodt, who treated her after she was pepper-sprayed. Kuby said the couple is engaged and expecting the birth of their daughter in two weeks.
They have settled in the Capital Region at this time, Kuby said. Dedrick is the daughter of Martha Dedrick and Charles S. Dedrick, superintendent of Capital Region BOCES and a former North Greenbush Democratic councilman. She's the niece of William Dedrick, a former Democratic Rensselaer County legislator.
[email protected] --518-454-5084 --@KennethCrowe
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