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Freeport man files $1.8M suit against police, saying he was beaten by officers

An attorney said John Parker's altercation with the

An attorney said John Parker's altercation with the Freeport Police Department officers in 2018 was recorded on a police body camera. Credit: Barry Sloan

A Freeport man has filed a $1.8 million federal lawsuit against the Freeport Police Department, alleging he was beaten by police during an arrest last year.

John Parker, 46, was arrested Aug. 9, 2018, on a disorderly conduct charge, when he said he was beaten with a billy club before he was handcuffed, arrested and later brought to court for an arraignment, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Eastern U.S. District Court in Central Islip. 

Parker's attorney in the lawsuit, Peter Saad, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Freeport officials said the village does not comment on pending litigation.

Parker was charged with four misdemeanors, including recklessly causing physical injury, attempted grand larceny, attempted assault with intent to cause physical injury and resisting arrest, according to Nassau County court records.

He pleaded not guilty and was released on $3,000 bond or $1,500 cash, according to court records. The case was set to go to trial, but the Nassau County district attorney agreed during a hearing in May to consider dismissing charges at Parker’s next court hearing, which is scheduled for May 2, court records show.

Parker sustained multiple injuries to his lower right back, to his left hand and had a titanium rod infused in three vertebrae “because of the excessive and unnecessary force of the officer(s),” the lawsuit states. 

“As a result of the foregoing acts committed against plaintiff by the defendants, the plaintiff has sustained damage to his character, reputation, degradation, humiliation, embarrassment, false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution,” Parker’s lawsuit states.

The lawsuit comes as the Nassau district attorney’s office reviews allegations of excessive force by Freeport police in the arrest of Akbar Rogers, 44, of Freeport. Rogers' arrest last week was captured on cellphone video, which showed seven police officers subduing him after pulling him over a chain link fence onto the ground. At least two officers were seen on the video hitting Rogers while he was on the ground. One was seen kicking him. Police said he was resisting arrest and reaching for his waistband.

Parker’s defense attorney, Lloyd Nadel, said the altercation with village officers was recorded on a police body camera when officers arrested him during an argument at his mother’s house.

The video showed police trying to calm Parker for several minutes until he was knocked to the ground and handcuffed, Nadel said. Parker did not become physical with his mother or police, Nadel said.

“Police were initially very patient trying to get him to calm down, and for whatever reason they just jumped him,” Nadel said. “The video showed cops literally jumping on him for no apparent reason.”

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