NJ cop investigated for violent arrest has been sued before
DOVER — A township police sergeant on paid administrative leave over a violent arrest caught on video last month has been involved in a few lawsuits, including a violent arrest in 2015.
Sgt. Michael Pier and two officers were placed on paid administrative leave amid a state law enforcement investigation of the May arrest of 19-year-old Cyprian Luke, of Morristown.
A video clip posted online by several news outlets, including Morristown Green and the Morristown Daily Record, shows several officers struggling to arrest Luke. Various versions appear to have been edited for length or to remove profanity.
At a news conference a day after the arrest, Mayor James Dodd said Luke had resisted arrest.
Pier previously was among several defendants sued in federal court by a Dover man who said Pier had beaten him during a February 2015 arrest.
As reported by MorristownGreen.com, Christopher Kotz said in his lawsuit that Pier, then a detective, had hit him several times while yelling "stop resisting."
Kotz later dismissed his complaints and the lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount by Morris County.
Pier was promoted in 2016.
In a separate case, a Parsippany mother sued Dover and township police, accusing then-officer Pier of negligence during a high-speed chase that ended with her adult son's death on a motorcycle in 2007.
Alan Seitz, 23, had led police from several communities on a dangerous chase along Route 46, which ended when Pier pulled his police cruiser in front of Seitz's motorcycle.
In 2012, the township paid $75,000 to Kara Seitz, to settle the suit and avoid trial, as reported by NJ Civil Settlements.
NorthJersey.com also reports that in 2017 Pier filed his own lawsuit against Dover, accusing township superiors of retaliation, for reporting another officer's misconduct and for supporting a challenger to now-Mayor Dodd in the 2015 Democratic primary election.
More from New Jersey 101.5: