Police brutality claims occur in even tranquil beach towns. The Suffolk County DA's office has charged four members of Fire Island's Ocean Beach police, including the acting chief of police, for the 2005 beating of a Manhattan resident. Last week, other former police officers had filed a lawsuit, as the NY Times reports, claiming the acting chief "surrounded himself with a clique of officers who they claimed covered up instances of police brutality against vacationers and drank and had sex while on duty."
In August 2005, Sam Gilberd had been taken into police custody after throwing a beer bottle outside a bar. At the station house, a drunken Gilberd allegedly kicked a door, which angered the police who then punched and stomped on Gilberd until he was unconscious. Gilberd had a ruptured bladder, and the police apparently waited hours before letting Gilberd be transported to a hospital, where he remained for 10 days.
You can read the indictment here: Acting Chief George Hesse faces first-degree assault and first-degree gang assault. The police officers all pleaded not guilty; Hesse's lawyer said that Gilberd was drunk and on drugs and that he injured himself. (Gilberd's lawyer said his client was intoxicated, but medical reports show no trace of drugs in his system; Gilberd has filed a $22 million lawsuit of his own.) DA Thomas Spota also said he might file charges against Ocean Beach Mayor Joseph Loeffler for covering up police wrong-doing, because the village has a history of "settling lawsuits filed against members of its police department 'quietly and confidentially.'"