Philly Police Cleared of Beating Graffiti Artist
PHILADELPHIA -- Two Philadelphia police officers have been acquitted of assaulting a graffiti artist and breaking his jaw.
Officers Sheldon Fitzgerald and James Hill 3rd now hope to resume their careers.
Their acquittals come after Common Pleas Judge James Murray Lynn deemed the graffiti artist's testimony unreliable.
Lynn called 40-year-old David Vernitsky "a double-digit liar."
The charges had twice been dismissed before trial in 2008, only to have prosecutors appeal.
They say the artist's credibility was irrelevant given his injuries, including a broken jaw, a black eye and three missing teeth.
They also say the police officers never filed a report or arrested Vernitsky after he admitted spraying his tag, "Oz," on a wall in 2007.
The tag appeared this week in an elevator and stairwell at the city courthouse.