False Arrest, Mistreatment of Journalist and Extortion
On October 26, 2008, journalist James Quodomine was filming a demonstration on Springfield Avenue in Newark. A Newark special police officer, Brian Sharif, ordered him to put the camera away, and when Mr. Quodomine declined, Officer Sharif forcibly arrested him, saying "I hate the press&elip;I can do whatever I want." As the trial date for the disorderly persons charge approached, an attorney from the City of Newark offered to dismiss the criminal charge against Mr. Quodomine in exchange for a release from civil liability, a violation of attorney ethics. Mr. Quodomine declined the offer, and the Essex Prosecutor eventually dismissed the criminal charge against him. Mr. Quodomine has a federal lawsuit (No. 09-3596) pending against Newark. In one of the rare instances where police executives disclosed disciplinary action against an officer, press reports indicate the officer was suspended. However, no additional details are known about what discipline, if any, was imposed on Officer Sharif.
Video of news coverage of the incident is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTAAZBT0rBU. (Please note that by playing the video clips above, which is hosted by YouTube, a long-term cookie is placed on your computer. Please see the YouTube's privacy statement to learn more http://www.youtube.com/t/privacy. Please read our privacy statement.
Note: The claims made by Quodomine have not yet been proven or disproven in a court of law; at this time, they are simply allegations in a pending lawsuit or other legal document.
- Quodomine - Complaint (185k PDF)