Closing Arguments in Trial of Officer Accused of Excessive Force

One week after opening statements, six witnesses, several police reports, and, of course, the video tape, the attorneys arguing the assault and battery case against Lincoln Police Officer Edward Krawetz had one last opportunity to plead their case to the judge. Judge Clifton will decide whether the officer kicking a handcuffed suspect in the head was a crime.

“I didn't want to get kicked again,” Krawetz said on the stand.

Yesterday during his testimony, Officer Krawetz said this kick to the head of a handcuffed suspect was in self defense. Today, Attorney John Harwood used it as the basis of his argument that this was not a crime.

“She attacked this defendant,” Hardwood told the judge. “The case, your Honor, is about reaction and retaliation.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Regine agrees there was a reaction: Officer Edward Krawetz lifted his leg to avoid getting kicked by Donna Levesque.

“Everyone had that opportunity. And that's where the crime comes in,” Regine argued.

The prosecutor declined to comment after the case wrapped up, but I caught up with defense council.

“The video speaks for itself… And it shows… Krawetz was being attacked.”

There is no jury in this case. Krawetz's fate will be decided by Judge Edward Clifton, who will announce the verdict January 23rd. If Krawetz is found guilty, he could spend up to 20 years behind bars.