A New Jersey man says two police officers wrongly arrested him.
According to NJ.com, New Jersey resident Rudell Pruitt says he was walking around Gifford Avenue in Jersey City on May 17, 2017 when two officers approached him.
Former Sgt. John Ransom and Officer Gabriel Moreano stopped him and allegedly beat him while calling him an anti-gay slur and “one of the girls.” The officers then searched, arrested, and imprisoned Pruitt without a warrant and on charges of aggravated assault on a Police Officer, resisting arrest, and unlawful possession of suspected marijuana.
All said charges were found as false, according to the linked document below. Charges were then downgraded to disorderly persons charges before being entirely dropped.
Now, Pruitt has filed a three-count lawsuit against the two cops, and unidentified accomplices at the police department, for unlawfully arresting him, assaulting him, and using anti-gay rhetoric. The lawsuit also states that the incident led to Pruitt having an asthma attack, multiple bruises, and body pains.
The lawsuit states that this was "an attack by the Police Officers on Plaintiff because of his race and their perceived sexual preference of Mr. Pruitt.”
It adds, “Defendants' entire interaction would not have taken place with plaintiff if he had been perceived as a white 'straight' person.”
But it turns out, this isn't John Ransom's first wrongful arrest case. In fact, Ransom was forced to retire last year after admitting that he struck a different man with his police car.
That plaintiff, named Shiron Cooper, claims that he was walking home from Audubon Park on August 6, 2017 when several men approached him. Thinking he was going to be robbed, Cooper started to run, but soon stopped, turned around, and raised his hands when he realized his chasers were cops.
It was then that Ransom drove his police-issued Dodge Durango into Cooper. Cooper says he bounced off the SUV and hid behind a tree in fear. When he came out from hiding, Cooper claims Ransom drove into him a second time. 10 seconds of video surveillance confirm at least one of those moments.
Cooper alleges that Ransom then tried to “conceal the illegality” by filing a false police report.
Cooper then filed an eight-count complaint against Ransom and the Jersey City Police Department. In the complaint, Copper accused Jersey City of a “long-standing de-facto policy” of wrongful arrests and excessive force. It appears that 23 Jersey City officers have been charged with some type of offense in the last four years.
"The lack of discipline for acts of excessive force allowed PO defendants to wrongfully stop, arrest and commit excessive and unreasonable force against the plaintiff because PO defendants knew that there would be no official reprisals for their actions against plaintiff," the lawsuit reads.
It seems that the Jersey City police department has some questions to answer concerning it’s treatment of citizens. As for Pruitt, he’s asking for an unspecified amount of monetary damages for both the past and the future.