A New York federal judge this week accepted some blame for the handling of a last-minute controversy that led him on Wednesday to vacate a defense verdict in favor of four Troy police officers accused in a civil lawsuit of beating a man during a 2018 arrest.

U.S. District Judge David N. Hurd of the Northern District of New York said in an opinion Wednesday that he was “blindsided” by the controversy, which allowed defense counsel to make repeated and unsupported assertions that attorneys for the plaintiff had “manufactured” video evidence at the heart of the case.