Paterson pays $80,500 to settle police excessive force lawsuit | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Paterson pays $80,500 to settle police excessive force lawsuit

By Jayed Rahman
Published: August 26, 2020

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Municipal officials approved $80,500 to settle a police excessive use of force lawsuit on Tuesday night.

Mark Chandler, who filed the lawsuit in 2018, claimed police officers struck him in the face, causing him to fall to the ground and lose consciousness in an interaction on March 3, 2018.

Chandler, his brother, and a friend were on a public sidewalk at the time of the alleged incident. Police officers approached his brother and friend, says the lawsuit, which names officers Tyseme Holmes and Daniel Cirasa.

Chandler approached Holmes wanting to know why officers approached his brother and friend. He claims officers became “belligerent” at his inquiry.

“Suddenly and without any justification, Defendant Tyseme assaulted Plaintiff with such force that Plaintiff fell back and hit his head on the pavement causing a large gash on the back of Plaintiff’s head,” states the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states other officers did not intervene to stop the alleged assault. Chandler “became incoherent, and suffered a concussion” as a result of the alleged attack. He was arrested and charged with several crimes. His charges were later dismissed, according to the lawsuit.

Moreover, Chandler claims police officers removed $800 from his person and kept it.

Chandler filed an Internal Affairs complaint, but did not receive any response from police on the status of any investigations against the named officers. The lawsuit describes the city’s police Internal Affairs investigations as a “sham” designed to protect officers.

Members of the City Council approved the settlement in a 5-0 vote during a special meeting without making any public comments.

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