The city has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a police brutality lawsuit filed by brothers Juan Geronimo and Akenaton Geronimo-Arias.
Council members approved the settlement payout without a public discussion on Tuesday night. Each brother will get $25,000, according to municipal officials.
Geronimo and Geronimo-Arias alleged police officers “viciously attacked” them in the parking lot of the Las Palmas Restaurant on Madison Avenue on Jun. 1, 2014 at about 2:30 a.m. Their lawsuit named police officers Mariano Formentin, Saleh Judeh, and sergeant Thomas Trommelen.
One officer allegedly “sucker punched” Geronimo-Arias, according to their complaint filed in federal court in 2015. Geronimo seeing his brother “attacked by a stranger” intervened.
Geronimo pushed the alleged attacker and ended up being repeatedly “kicked” and “punched” in the parking lot sustaining “bruises and contusions,” according to court documents. Police officers were not in their uniforms and did not identify as officers, according to their lawsuit.
Both brothers were allegedly beaten, handcuffed, dragged, and then thrown in the back of a vehicle.
Municipal officials said the incident was captured on video which showed the brothers allegedly drunk and unruly. Officers tried to get a handle of the situation, but were fed up with the alleged drunks. An officer is seen throwing a punch on the video, according to municipal officials.
The officers were cleared through an Internal Affairs investigation, according to municipal officials.
Police charged both brothers with aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest, according to their lawsuit, which were later dismissed.
The settlement was approved in a 6-0 vote.