A New Jersey man is $175,000 richer after settling with the capitol city of Trenton after officers kicked and punched him while siccing a police dog on him for recording their vicious assault of a woman while calling her a “bitch” and “cunt”.
Police also confiscated his camera and deleted his footage, but were unable to delete footage from another man recording as well as footage from a surveillance camera. Both those videos are below.
“I got beat up because I videotaped them doing wrong,” Lael Queen told The Trentonian. “If cops were doing their job the right way, they shouldn’t have been concerned about me videotaping it. It’s just ridiculous what they do to us out here.”
It started at about noon on the Fourth of July in 2014 as Queen was leaving the Laundromat with his freshly-cleaned clothes in hand when he saw Trenton cops assaulting Kiare Hunt Eccels outside of a bar.
Queen began recording the assault with his cellphone.
That’s when a cop only identified as John Doe 1 in his civil claim charged and kicked Queen several times, stating he was “interfering with an investigation.”
Queen insisted he was not interfering; he was just recording them assault Eccles.
Shortly after being kicked, Queen found his way back to the laundromat, gathered his clothes and exited the building en route to his car.
According to the lawsuit, as Queen was walking to his car, John Doe 1 approached and threatened, “we are going to get something on you; don’t worry, we will get you.”
Queen replied that what they had just done to Eccles and himself was completely wrong, that he was still recording and that he planned to take the video to internal affairs the next day.
Upon learning that Queen was still recording, John Doe 1 attacked Queen, grabbing him from behind, hitting him in the face then proceeding to hit and kick him some more.
After he was done beating Queen, John Doe 1 ordered Michael Lucchesi to sic his K-9 on Queen.
Lucchesi did so.
As Lucchesi’s dog savagely attacked Queen, John Doe 1 slammed him to the ground and continued beating him.
“Stop resisting!” screamed Doe who began shoving Queen’s head into the concrete.
Queen, motionless except when his body moves from the enraged cop’s blows, who never resisted arrest, was arrested for obstruction of justice, resisting arrest and charging an officer.
As they walked him to their police car, Officer John Doe 1 taunted, “You want to record? We’ll teach you about recording shit.”
Queen was eventually driven to the hospital to care for the dog-bite wounds on his leg and bruises on his face.
The K-9 was not detached from his leg for over 25-seconds after it began mauling Queen’s leg.
His civil rights complaint alleged Trenton Police maliciously charged him with false crimes to justify intentional Constitutional violations in retaliation for exercising his right to record police in public, when they improperly conducted themselves with another person.
The complaint additionally alleged Queen’s detention was unlawful, that police used an excessive amount of force, committed an unlawful assault, failure to train, and failure to promulgate proper policy, among other allegations, which can be read below.
Records show lawyers for the city of Trenton unsuccessfully filed motions to have the case dismissed, according to NJ.com.
Trenton city attorneys clarified the settlement does not constitute an admission of guilt, but they believed it was in the city’s best interest to settle the matter.
Trenton police said they don’t comment on litigation.