The Journal News is reporting that the City of New Rochelle has agreed to pay $75,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging police brutality. In a lawsuit filed on October 17, 2008, Zane Taranto, then a student at Iona College, alleged that Police Officer Timothy Adrian and five other unnamed officers beat him, threw him to the ground and stomped on him.
Police Officer Adrian is one of the officers involved in the infamous New Rochelle Police Department P.A.C.T Unit Fantasy Football League (PFFL). Adrian is listed as the “owner” of the Jack Daniels Boys.
The PFFL web sites, there are two (see here and here), display fantasy football team names, team web sites and helmet decals that glorify a brutish, hard-drinking, gangster mentality among officers within the unit. Teams owned by New Rochelle police officers, including many high ranking officers, reference organized crime, vigilantism, police brutality, alcohol abuse, and a hostile misogynistic attitude towards women Participating officers have owned teams with names which include Midnight Mutha F*s, Kill ’em All, The Hitmen, Bad Boyz, Goodfellas, New Jack City, Tuxedo Mafia, The Enforcers, Jack Daniels Boys, Da Drunks and Tits ‘N’ Ass.
The two web sites include page upon page of graphic pornography including nude and semi-nude images of women: morbidly obese women, an elderly woman, a transexual “woman”, a nude, heavily-tattooed woman standing naked, leaning back while holding a massive chainsaw between her legs pointing outwards to suggest a penis. The two web sites also indicate that officers organized and engaged in illegal gambling involving hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past 12 years.
From the lawsuit brought by Taranto:
FACTUAL AND GENERAL ALLEGATIONS
12. On or about the 30th day of October, 2005, plaintiff was at or about the premises known as O’Brien’s Bar located on North Avenue, New Rochelle, New York within the County of Westchester.
13. Plaintiff walked outside the premises known as O’Brien’s when an altercation occurred between two individuals outside the bar.
14. Defendant ADRIAN, along with fellow police officers of the NEW ROCHELLE POLICE DEPARTMENT, including JOHN DOES #1-5, responded to the scene of the altercation.
15. While lawfully standing on the sidewalk in front of O’Briens Bar, Plaintiff TARANTO was struck by a police flashlight without cause, by a member of the ROCHELLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
16. Plaintiff TARANTO, in response to being unlawfully struck by the police flashlight, started telling at the police officers who had responded to the scene “Fuck you pigs, What? You think you guys are real cops? You think you guys are NYPD?”
17. After plaintiff yelled, defendant ADRIAN ran up to Plaintiff TARANTO, who was, by then, standing on the sidewalk, grabbed him, and threw him up against a brick wall. TARANTO did not resist the actions of the officer.
18. Defendant ADRIAN kneed Plaintiff TARANTO and then slammed his face into a steel parking meter. TARANTO was seriously injured by ADRIAN’s unlawful conduct and slumped to the pavement.
19. While prone on the sidewalk, plaintiff TARANTO was then stomped on by members of the NEW ROCHELLE POLICE DEPARTMENT including defendant ADRIAN and JOHN DOES # 1-5.
20. As a direct and proximate result of the constitutional deprivations, unlawful assault, battery, and excessive use of force, plaintiff TARANTO sustained multiply physical and emotional injuries causing pain and suffering, the need for surgical interventions, medical expenses, and continuing disabilities.
According to the lawsuit, Taranto suffered “severe facial trauma and multiple orthopedic injuries including fractures and a dislocation with attendant pain, suffering, and continuing disabilities, and was otherwise injured”.
The response either denies the truth of the allegations or says defendants have no knowledge of the claims made. Further, that the New Rochelle Police Department is not an entity that can be sued, that the officer cannot be sued and that no one did anything wrong.
According to the Journal News, both sides refused to speak about the settlement due to a confidentiality agreement.
At the time, the Journal News reported that “Eight Iona College students were arrested outside O’Brien’s in the melee, including Taranto, who was later convicted of two counts of disorderly conduct.”