The city council approved $60,000 on Tuesday night to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman and her husband alleging she was falsely arrested and mistreated by police officers.
Police pulled Anita Veal over in her vehicle on Aug. 9, 2010. She claims she was falsely arrested without a warrant or probable cause in a lawsuit. She was taken to the Paterson Police Headquarters at about 11 a.m. The lawsuit says there she attempted to invoke her Miranda rights, but a second police officer cut her off with “offensive sexist epithets, crude comments, curses, racially based slurs, attacks on her religious faith and other forms of intimidation and harassment.”
Veal’s family contacted police, but a third officer falsely told the family there was a warrant for her arrest, says the lawsuit. Her daughter later called police, a fourth police officer said the mother was not at the police station and hung up the phone.
Veal was not provided food, water, or a working bathroom. She was held by police until 7 p.m. She and her husband Harold Veal, both Montclair residents, filed the lawsuit on Jan. 30th, 2012.
The lawsuit does not identity each of the police officers by name.
Some council members were shocked by the claims raised in the lawsuit. Councilman William McKoy said the case was treated with “indifference” by the administration.
“If we’re not taking these things seriously they’re going to keep happening. We’re hemorrhaging a lot of funds,” said McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman.
McKoy blamed the administration and poor management at the police department.
The council approved the settlement in a 5-1 vote following closed-door discussion with its attorneys. Michael Jackson, 1st Ward councilman, was the sole vote against the settlement.