Aberdeen pays $15K to woman who says cops terrorized her
ABERDEEN — This Monmouth County township has agreed to pay $15,000 to a woman who said police terrorized her, putting her "in panic, fear and terror that her home and body may be invaded."
In a lawsuit against the township, Yolanda Mitter says police had no reason to be at her Cliffwood home at 2 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2013. She hadn't called them, she says, and hadn't been involved in any activity that would bring them there.
But, Mitter says, several unidentified officers showed up at her home, where they threatened, frightened, menaced and terrorized Yolanda Miner by actions "including but not limited to assaulting and battering her home by physically banging on the doors." The officers kept trying to open her doors as well, she says, and she called 911.
More police — Mitter refers to those as the "investigating officers," as opposed to the "unidentified policemen" — arrived and learned about the situation," Mitter says in her lawsuit. But she says those investigating officers and others associated with the police department wouldn't give her the names of the officers who'd been banging on her doors. When she followed up, she was given an investigatory report that didn't name the unidentified policemen, she said.
And Aberdeen hasn't notified her of any judicial proceedings against the officers involved, she said.
In her lawsuit, she sought damages for emotional distress, saying she had "lost confidence in her government as a result of the violation of the public trust, which creates additional fear that Ms. Mitter and her family will be further victimized and subject to disparate treatment by public authorities."
"The conduct ... was so outrageous in character and so extreme in decree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community," Mitter wrote.
She does not give any indication in her lawsuit of a history with police that might have motivated the alleged incident, but alleges the investigating officers had the "ulterior motive" of shielding the ones who first came to her house.
As is the case in most such settlements, none of the parties admitted any guilt.
Aberdeen police could not be reached this weekend for comment. The settlement was first reported by transparency activist John Paff's New Jersey Civil Settlements blog.
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