Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 President John McNesby responded to the charges against Officer Richard Paul Nicoletti for his actions during a Black Lives Matter protest in June.
District Attorney Larry Krasner on Wednesday announced charges against Officer Nicoletti, 35, for allegedly assaulting three protesters with pepper spray during a protest on Interstate 676 on June 1.
Nicoletti faces one count of possession on an instrument of crime and three counts each of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and official oppression, the District Attorney’s Office said.
“Once again DA Larry Krasner is only charging Philadelphia police officers following the recent unrest in the city,” McNesby said in the statement.
“Krasner refuses to hold unlawful protesters accountable, those who set fire and looted our great city … His top priority is to push his anti-police agenda. This double-standard of justice is unacceptable to our brave police officers who work tirelessly to keep our city safe,” the statement reads.
McNesby also vowed to provide defense for Nicoletti as the process moves forward.
Krasner said video of the protest showed the officer pulling down a protester’s goggles and pepper spraying her as she kneeled in the road.
.@DA_LarryKrasner announced criminal proceedings against Philadelphia Police Officer Richard P. Nicoletti for his actions during a #BlackLivesMatter protest on I-676 on June 1. @philadao says Nicoletti was seen on video pepper-spraying 3 protesters on the highway. pic.twitter.com/HNOC8LihfS
— Brandon Longo (@brandonlongo) July 22, 2020
Nicoletti turned himself in Wednesday morning, Action News reports.
The [Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office] will not make excuses for crimes committed by law enforcement that demean the democratic freedoms so many Americans have fought and died to preserve,” Krasner tweeted this morning.
The DAO’s full statement can be found here.