A 25-year-old Philadelphia man has filed a police brutality lawsuit against officers of the Philadelphia Police Department and the Counter Terrorism Unit. The plaintiff claims that officers used excessive force to remove him and 28 other protestors from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office located at 8th and Cherry Streets in the city. The activists were protesting President Trump’s immigration policies on July 3, 2018 when the incident occurred.
The lawsuit claims that Philadelphia police and counter terrorism officers hit the plaintiff in the head, forced him onto the ground, and then jumped on top of his back. He also claims another officer intentionally stomped on his prescription eyeglasses that were knocked off in the scuffle and laid on the sidewalk beside him.
In a video taken by bystanders, a Philadelphia Counter Terrorism officer is seen striking the plaintiff in the back of the head while photos show another police officer standing on top of the plaintiff’s broken eyeglasses.
While the plaintiff claims the group was exercising their legal rights to gather in protest and was doing so peacefully, the police and counter terrorism officers claim the three-day standoff was a threat to public safety. The permanent encampment was set up on July 1, 2018 and intentionally blocked the loading dock area of the ICE office. The law enforcement officers were brought in to disband the group and dismantle the encampment.
Philadelphia’s mayor has requested that the Philadelphia Police Advisory Commission investigate the details of the case to see if officers were justified in their handling of the protestors, particularly in the case of the plaintiff. Supporters of the protestors claim that the group never posed a threat to the community or to the public, and that the force used to disband the group was excessive and infringed on their civil liberties.
Police officers have a duty to protect the public. In some cases, it is necessary to use force when apprehending a suspect, but if that force is excessive or unwarranted, the law enforcement officers can be held liable in a civil lawsuit. If you or someone you know believes they have been a victim of police brutality, call the Philadelphia civil rights lawyers at Williams Cedar at 215-557-0099, or 856-470-9777, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Haddonfield, New Jersey and Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.