NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Just days after a video showing an officer punching a Rutgers University student was posted online, the New Brunswick police department is being sued in a separate incident in which excessive force is being alleged.
In a $2 million lawsuit filed on Thursday, Kareem Najjar and Jake Kostman — both 19-year-old sophomores — claim police illegally entered their apartment and beat them while serving a warrant for another person.
Atty. Bryan Konoski told 1010 WINS he is suing on behalf of his clients for “civil rights violations and severe injuries.”
“They were sleeping in their apartment and bum rushed by police in the middle of the night and basically awakened by being beat on their head, their face, their body, stomped on by police and injured,” he said.
Konoski said both Najjar and Kostman were “good kids” who have “never been in trouble with the law.” The students claim the officers did not identify themselves as police and came into the apartment wearing plain clothes.
“[They] basically just rounded up everybody like a herd of cow,” Konoski said.
East Brunswick police released a statement Friday saying only that “police officers assisted the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office in executing a court approved search warrant.”
“During that incident arrests were made for narcotic related offenses,” the statement read.
On Tuesday, 20-year-old Elliot Marx was was arrested after a large fight involving about 50 people outside an off-campus house party.
A video, which appeared to have been recorded on a cell phone from a balcony overlooking the scene, showed a New Brunswick police officer punching the Lindenhurst, N.Y., resident. Another officer could be heard shouting: “Stop resisting! Give me your hand.”
Internal Affairs investigators are interviewing witnesses and examining footage from a police car video camera to determine if the use of force was justified.