A Black sergeant from New York is awaiting the announcement of a possible $198,000 settlement with the city after he was beaten by Yonkers police officers five years ago, USA Today reports.
In Feb. 2010, Kenneth Kissiedu, a sergeant from the 41st Precinct in the Bronx, was accused of interfering with a larceny investigation after coming into contact with two officers while on his way to work.
Kissiedu, a 17-year veteran, was acquitted of the crime in 2011 and filed a lawsuit in 2013, claiming his civil rights were violated. Yonkers officials are prepared to vote on the hefty settlement Tuesday morning.
Kissiedu’s lawyers claim that at the time of the incident, he was approached by Thomas Cleary and other officers who were looking for a Hispanic man. The details of what happened next are limited, but Cleary testified he punched the sergeant in the face, believing his own life was in danger. Kissiedu allegedly reached under his sweater for what Cleary thought was a weapon.
“Both saw Kissiedu and yelled out the window, “Yo” to get him to stop,” Queens attorney Mary L. Bejarano for Kissiedu said.
“He did not respond to the ‘Yo,’ ” she said.
The officers said he ignored orders to stop. He stopped once the officers got out of the cruiser.
Kissiedu told them he did nothing wrong. Cleary said Kissiedu refused to give them further information.
After subduing Kissiedu, the officers found his badge and gun. They claim he didn’t mention he was an officer until after he was in custody.
Kissiedu’s career was reportedly sidelined for years, after the NYPD put him on modified duty following the arrest. He was also suspended without pay for 30 days.
Yonkers Corporation Counsel Michael Curti said the possible settlement is not an admission of guilt.
“There is no admission of wrongdoing by anyone. The issue in this case, as in many cases, is whether or not we wish to risk exposing the city and its taxpayers to attorneys’ fees which could be substantial,” Curti wrote in an email.
Officials continue to argue Kissiedu’s actions and conduct were reckless and unprofessional.
SOURCE: USA Today | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN
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