Atlantic City Cop Draws Lawsuit for Use of Excessive Force [VIDEO/GRAPHIC]
Question: have you ever dealt with a cop who you may have suspected has anger management issues?
Most cops I know are pretty even tempered. Then again, I don’t see them when they’re in the midst of doing their jobs and the stress it puts them under.
But when you see a story of a cop who’s been cited for having been involved in 6 incidents where he may have used excessive force, one has to then come to the conclusion that perhaps he belongs, as my dad used to say, in the ‘rubber gun squad’ – or perhaps of the job altogether.
…who is alleged to have abused his power during the course of arrests. Wheaten graduated from the Atlantic County Police K-9 Academy this May. One of the lawsuits was dismissed and another settled out of court.
David Connor Castellani filed a lawsuit against the city, its police department and six officers Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Camden.
On June 15, Castellani was removed from the Tropicana Casino and Resort. A short time later, at 3:10 a.m., Tropicana surveillance video obtained via subpoena showed him being tackled by police, with a K-9 released on him. Castellani’s injuries required 200 stitches and ongoing physical therapy, family members say.
Police Chief Ernest Jubilee has said the incident is being investigated.
The officers involved, four of whom have not yet been named, remain on duty. Jubilee previously told NBC10, which reported the Castellani video last week, that he “saw no reason to suspend or remove the officers from their regular duties.”
Castellani, meanwhile, still faces charges of aggravated assault on an officer and a police dog, disorderly conduct and resisting.
The lawsuit sheds additional light on the incident. According to the document, Castellani was escorted out of the Boogie Nights nightclub because he was intoxicated while underage.
While Castellani was talking on the phone, a few feet from police, his friends told him to walk to their car at the front of the casino. He asked for the police officers’ assistance in returning to the car.
In the video, the officers are not visible as Castellani shouts from across the street, but the suit alleges that the officers “continued to ridicule, taunt and mock Plaintiff who was merely searching for his ride home.”
The suit alleges the officers never directed any commands to Castellani, but at some point — at 3:10 a.m. on the video — they crossed the street to apprehend him.
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In addition to punitive damages, Castellani seeks a declaritory judgment that departmental policies are “illegal and unconstitutional” and for the six officers to be prevented from continuing to serve.
The incident has garnered worldwide news coverage, and Castellani’s mother, Terri, said she and her attorney husband, David, were interviewed for Wednesday’s episode of Anderson Cooper 360.
“No matter what way you look at it, it can’t be good for Atlantic City,” said Councilman Steven Moore, adding that the police K-9 unit needs to be “more closely supervised.”
As an after thought, you watch the video and see the kid’s taunting the cops. Looked like he was asking for it…no?
Yet, does it really take 4 cops to tackle and beat the living crap out of him; and additionally a K-9 cop to intercede.
If a cop (or cops) are “bedbugs” as I like to say, he or she brings down the credibility of their respective departments in particular and of the police statewide in general.
The public needs to have the assurance that a police officer is going to act in as professional a manner as possible; and not have to worry that an innocuous comment (or in this case, taunting from an intoxicated club patron) could lead to an altercation.
Perhaps that’s why when you have an excessive number of lawsuits like this filed against one or more cops, those police officers should either be periodically evaluated for their fitness to carry out their duties, or just out and out released.
Comment below as you see fit!