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Jersey City to pay $45K to settle police brutality claim
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Updated on June 9, 2017 at 1:07 PM
Posted on June 9, 2017 at 11:24 AM

BY TERRENCE T. MCDONALD
tmcdonald@jjournal.com
The Jersey Journal

JERSEY CITY -- A man who accused Jersey City cops of beating him during a 2011 party on Martin Luther King Drive is set to receive $45,000 to drop his federal lawsuit against the city.

Michael Wheeler was arrested after police officers responded to the event on a report of there being people with handguns nearby. Wheeler, who said he was working security at the party, alleged a group of four officers grabbed him, punched him, kneed him in the gut and hit him with a baton when he wouldn't leave the scene.

The officers said there was physical contact but argued they did not use excessive force.

Wheeler suffered a fractured skull and drifted in and out of consciousness for up to six hours while he was at the hospital following the beating, according to a March 14, 2016 decision by U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo, who allowed some of Wheeler's claims to move forward and dismissed others. Some of the incident was caught on video that gave "credence to plaintiffs' claims of excessive force," the judge said.

Wheeler and his wife initially filed the lawsuit in December 2012. The matter was set for trial in early May when both parties settled.

The City Council is scheduled to approve the $45,000 settlement on Wednesday.

This week the city's police force faced new accusations of police brutality following a six-mile pursuit Sunday night that ended in a car crash on Tonnelle Avenue.

A video surfaced Tuesday showing police officers kicking a man who had climbed out of a burning car. The man turned out not to be Leo Pinkston, the man police say led them on the chase, but Miguel Feliz, a West New York man whose car Pinkston is accused of crashing into at the end of the pursuit.

Feliz remains hospitalized in stable condition.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... incart_river_mobile_index

Posted on: 6/9 14:10
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