MAPLEWOOD — A township teenager who says he was a victim of police brutality following a Fourth of July celebration last year will announce his intention to sue the department on Wednesday.

According to a press release from the South Orange/Maplewood Black Parents Workshop, Jason McDougall, 17, will be filing a federal lawsuit claiming he was "body slammed, sprayed with mace, punched and kicked" during the 2016 incident. McDougall was 16-years-old at the time of the incident, according to attorney Robert Tarver.

Recently released video and audio from that night shows police, reportedly under the direction of Chief Robert Cimino and Capt. Joshua Cummis, moving large crowds of black teenagers into neighboring Irvington, even though many of the teens lived in Maplewood and South Orange.

After the recordings were publicly released last month, the Township Committee suspended Cimino and Cummis. While the committee is calling for Cimino to step down, the chief has the support from the Essex County Chiefs of Police Association.

Cimino, the department and the township are also facing a lawsuit from another Maplewood resident who was cleared of charges he faced after Cimino said the man's dog bit him while investigating a shooting.

Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or

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