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Police Abuse In Newark

PoliceAbuse-150x150There is a problem with the police in Newark. They are running amuck. There have been many instances of excessive force, false arrest and other abuses by police officers in Newark. It has been suggested that these abuses be investigated by the federal authorities and that a monitor be appointed by the federal government to supervise the police department. These allegations are contained in a proceeding recently brought by a civil liberties group in Newark.

American Civil Liberties Union Takes Action

The lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (the “ACLU”), requests that the civil rights division of the justice department take immediate action to supervise the police in Newark. The complaint by the ACLU documents numerous abuses and inappropriate activities by police officers. The suit claims that the police operate in a culture of impunity, with few, if any, police officers ever being punished for their misdeeds. The complaint specifically states that the misconduct “has left citizens dead, permanently injured and otherwise damaged”. The petition also states that “it has left innocent Newark residents distrustful of the police, unsure whether an encounter with them will lead to being protected and served or beaten and arrested”.

The petition by the ACLU is ninety-six pages long. It provides detailed information concerning the courts, the police and other U.S. governmental agencies. The petition goes on to state that the inappropriate actions of certain members of the Newark police department have damaged the careers and harmed the reputation of good, honorable police officers.

The petition indicates that police misconduct has been going for decades. During the past two and one-half years, more than fifty-one separate lawsuits have been brought against police officers and/or the police in Newark. These lawsuits deal with issues involving police misconduct, such as beatings, theft, and illegal searches. The police are committing misdemeanors and felonies. In cases where citizens have reported police misconduct, there have been threats and harassment by the police against these citizens.

The Newark Police Department has recently settled thirty-eight separate and distinct police misconduct cases. These settlements have cost the city of Newark approximately five million dollars.

Help Dealing With Police Misconduct

Should you, a family member or loved one be exposed to what you feel is police misconduct, contact the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. We may be able to assist you in obtaining monetary damages for the police misconduct and for the violation of your civil rights. Contact us at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.

To Taser Or Not To Taser


(The “Don’t Tase Me Bro!” Video – See minute marker 1:50)

 The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that the use of a taser stun gun by a police officer can be considered, under certain circumstances, excessive force which leaves the police officer open to be sued for the injuries received by the tasered individual. The taser is an electric stun gun. It is powered by a lithium battery inside his handle. It shoots two bob prongs which are attached to the end of a wire that is 21 feet long. The prongs hook on to a person’s skin or clothing. When the prongs hit the individual, they discharge 50,000 volts of electricity for up to 5 seconds. This has the effect of temporarily incapacitated the tasered individual.

Although the taser is considered a non-lethal weapon, in some situations it has caused deaths.

In the case before the Ninth Circuit, Carl Bryan, had an emotional break-down after receiving a series of traffic tickets. While the police officer was writing out the traffic tickets, Mr. Bryan exited his vehicle and started to curse at himself. Mr. Bryan was distraught, crying and yelling giberish while beating his thighs.

A police officer on the scene, Officer McPherson tasered Mr. Bryan from approximately 20 feet away. Upon being hit by the taser, Mr. Bryan fell face down to the ground. The fall caused him to break four teeth.

The court held that at no time did Mr. Bryan present a threat to Police Officer McPherson. He neither made any verbal threat or presented a physical threat. The police officer should have spoken to Mr. Bryan first and warned him if he did not control himself he could be tasered.

As a result of this decision, Mr. Bryan can bring a civil lawsuit against Officer McPherson and his police department for injuries he received by the use of excessive force (being tasered) during his traffic stop. This is one of the first cases in the nation to create a legal standard concerning the use of taser stun guns.

Should you have an encounter with law enforcement officials who have acted inappropriately, call the criminal defense and civil litigation attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo by e-mail or at 1-800-344-6431. You may have a remedy available through a Civil Lawsuit.

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