Behind every case of police misconduct you'll find one person's story. Behind 400 cases of police misconduct, you'll find the story of a dark side of a police department. In Newark, it's a heartbreaking portrait.
With a 96-page petition detailing citizens' injuries and officers' near-immunity, the ACLU-NJ appealed to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to save the long-troubled Newark Police Department through federal intervention.
Here's some of what we found combing records from January 2008 through June 2010:
- Out of 261 complaints of serious misconduct filed with internal affairs, the department substantiated only one — an allegation of false arrest.
- One police officer's beating fractured several parts of one man's face and jaw.
- A man suffered permanent, debilitating spinal cord injuries from a police officer - which is just one of the 177 settled and pending claims of excessive force.
- Police beat and urinated on a juvenile who refused to admit involvement in a crime, only for the department to "lose" the soiled t-shirt submitted as evidence to internal affairs.
- People who attempted to file complaints with internal affairs faced intimidation and harassment.
- Seven people documented in the petition died at the hands of the NPD.
- Several people lost jobs because wrongful arrests kept them from work.