$107,000 was approved by the city council Tuesday night to settle a police brutality lawsuit filed by a city man after police officers violently beat him during his niece’s birthday party at a Broadway home.
On September 4th, 2010, the city’s police department received a noise complaint call, and an officer was dispatched to the area of 567 Broadway. E. Rivera, the officer, knocked on Ivan Ruiz’s door, according to the lawsuit.
His uncle Lisandro Zuinga opened the door, and asked the officer for his badge number. Ruiz seeing the officer and his uncle at the door pulled Zuinga and returned to the party in the backyard. Moments later, according to the suit, “numerous police officers showed up.”
Christopher Ravallese, police officer, and Rivera went to the backyard and brought Zuinga back to the front, and handcuffed him.
Ruiz asked the officers why his uncle was being arrested, an officer told him to “shut the fuck up,” according to the suit. Ruiz retorted back, “This is America we have rights including the right to know why we are being arrested. This is not Russia.”
An officer “grabbed Ruiz by the neck and threw him to the ground,” alleges the suit. Thereafter, officer began kicking Ruiz while he was handcuffed on the ground, according to the suit. One officer yelled, “stop resisting arrest,” while the beating continued.
Ruiz was then subjected to pepper spray, according to the suit. He was put into a vehicle and transported to a hospital, where “he was treated for numerous injuries, including a fractured arm,” reads the complaint.
At the hospital an officer ridiculed Ruiz, joking Mexicans have “hard heads.” Ruiz overheard officers discussing what to put in the police report, he heard one cop telling another that he “punched [the officer] in the stomach, and that Ruiz had ‘elbowed’ the officer ‘in the face.”
Ruiz was charged with causing a riot, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault on an officer, according to the suit. The suit states the charges were entirely false and Ruiz was “falsely arrested and accused.”
“With deliberate indifference and without cause,” reads the suit, officers deprived Ruiz “of his liberty and the rights, privileges and immunities granted to him under the United States Constitution by use of excess force in making a false arrest, filing false charges, causing false imprisonment, and a malicious prosecution.”
Ivan and Elda Ruiz filed a federal lawsuit in 2012, including in the suit Glenn Brown, public safety director; James Wittig, former police chief; and a number of police officers: Rivera, Ravallese, Kunzig, Korosekreter, Torres, Lee, Sheikh, Ramos, Heyaime, and five other officers, John Doe 1-5. The suit alleges that police brass “maintained a practice, custom and/or policy of failing to train, discipline and/or supervise” the aforementioned officers.
City officials approved the settlement money without any discussion.