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Cops Sued Over Elevate Raid

by Thomas MacMillan | Nov 15, 2012 2:30 pm

(3) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Legal Writes

NHPD Two years after police in SWAT gear stormed into a private party and arrested five Yale students, one of the undergrads is suing them.

Jordan Jefferson, a tight end on the Yale football team, this week filed a lawsuit against seven cops and the city of New Haven.

He claims his civil rights were violated by cops who tased and assaulted him before falsely arresting him during a raid on the Elevate nightclub on Oct. 2, 2010. A mug shot (above) taken after his arrest shows Jefferson’s face swollen and bruised. Click here to read the lawsuit.

Police entered the club to check IDs during a crackdown on downtown bars following a September 2010 shoot-out between cops and clubgoers. They ended up arresting Jefferson for three counts of assault on a police officer, interfering with police, inciting a riot, and disorderly conduct.

Police claimed Jefferson refused to obey repeated commands to put away his cell phone, then resisted arrest and took a swing at cops. Click here for an article about the police account of what happened.

Yale Photo The charges against Jefferson (pictured) were dismissed in November, 2011.

Police arrested four other Yale students during the raid. Those cases also ended with dismissed charges.

The Elevate raid prompted an outpouring of complaints of alleged verbal and physical abuse by New Haven cops. A subsequent internal affairs investigation cleared individual cops of wrongdoing but faulted the department for a systemic “training failure” that led to improper conduct.

Jefferson’s lawsuit alleges wrongdoing by individual cops, by cops as “policy makers,” and by the city of New Haven.

The lawsuit names Thaddeus Reddish, a lieutenant at the time of the raid, now an assistant chief; Officer Matt Abbate, Sgt. David Guliuzza; Officer Justin Marshalll, Officer Angelo Mauriello, former Chief Frank Limon, and former Assistant Chief Ariel Melendez.

The suit alleges that “Reddish, Abbate, Guliuzza, Marshall, and Mauriello assaulted the plaintiff by the repeated use of a taser, hitting him with fists and a baton/club, and kicking him, despite the fact that he was not resisting arrest.”

Click the play arrow to watch footage from inside Elevate during the raid, featuring a New Haven cop shouting, “Anybody else?” after subduing a clubgoer, possible Jefferson.

“The plaintiff was also subject to additional physical assault while being pushed out of the premises by one or more of the defendant officers by being pushed into the stair walls and by having the handcuffs applied and kept in an excessively tight manner,” the lawsuit states.

“As a result of the physical assaults, the plaintiff sustained severe, painful and permanent injuries including the following: multiple taser injuries including electrical shock and puncture wounds, concussion and brain injuries, post concussive syndrome, headaches located over the bitemporal and bifrontal regions, cognitive difficulties, difficulty breathing through the nose, worse on the right, right facial pain, numbness on the right cheek a laceration underneath the right eye requiring sutures, blurred vision in the right eye, right knee injuries, injuries to both wrists, the left worse than the right, a cut to the left wrist, numbness of the left wrist extending into the thumb, swelling, tenderness and contusion over the right occiput, skin irritation over the right deltoid muscle, right shoulder pains, abrasion and erythema over the left elbow, tenderness of the right hamstring tendon, right knee pain, vertiginous dizziness, fatigue, difficulty with sleep, depression, a shock to his entire nervous system, fear and anxiety, pain and suffering, distress of mind and an inability to carry on and enjoy his usual life activities.”

“The city is aware of this lawsuit and will respond accordingly at the appropriate time,” said Victor Bolden, the city’s corporation counsel.

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posted by: PH on November 15, 2012  2:53pm

Not to belittle the guy’s injuries too much as a Taser is said to hurt like hell, but it can’t be working in his favor that he was a tight end on the football team.  Of all the people in the club, he is going to have a tough time proving any of those non-Taser-related injuries (a) caused him such tremendous pain and suffering, and (b) didn’t date back to any number of vicious tackles he incurred while on the field!

posted by: HhE on November 16, 2012  1:25am

When I see Yalies, I usually think “welcome to New Haven, revenue source.”  Not so much this time.

Let Frank Limon pick up the tab.  We paid him too much.

posted by: watching what happens on November 16, 2012  11:21am

Is this not where a group of underage college kids where having their “private party” getting drunk and underage?  Yeah, I would be trying to sue if I got caught too.  I am sure this kid wasn’t giving the cops any hard time or attitude.  Keep this in mind for next time.  The university falls under Yale PD, the clubs under New Haven PD.

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