Video Sparks Police Brutality Lawsuit in Paterson
Two northern New Jersey men are using footage from a surveillance camera to help support their allegations of police brutality.
The video appears to show Alexis Aponte of Paterson being kicked by Paterson officers before being dragged down the street during a 2011 arrest.
A federal lawsuit filed Friday in Newark claims Aponte and Miguel Rivera of Prospect Park were both beaten while handcuffed and lying on the ground. Aponte was a passenger in a truck driven by Rivera when police stopped them.
Their attorney, Darren Del Sardo, said the video was from a camera outside the Rivera family’s home. It mostly captured what happened on the passenger side.
The lawsuit names Paterson police and a number of specific officers. Police officials declined comment, saying the case has been referred to the Passaic County prosecutor.
The lawsuit claims Aponte was punched and kicked multiple times and almost knocked unconscious, and that Rivera was similarly beaten and kicked. It also claims neither man resisted arrest, and that money, jewelry and other personal belongings taken from the men were never returned.
Aponte is now in prison on weapons charges stemming from an incident several hours earlier at a sports bar.
Del Sardo told The Record of Woodland Park that he had been holding off filing the suit, citing concerns about what effect it might have on the charges against Aponte and Rivera stemming from the arrest. But Del Sardo said he also had to work within a two-year statute of limitations.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)