Ten people are filing a $50 million lawsuit against the city, accusing the NYPD of using excessive force when breaking up a Labor Day party in East Flatbush, the Daily News reports. When cops arrived to break up Rodney and Kesha Terry's annual backyard barbecue, which was attended by about 150 guests and their children, the lieutenant told the hosts, "The party's fucking over," according to one witness. But the brawl was just beginning!
"I seen a lot of people getting Maced - men, women and children," says an unidentified man who works as a court officer. The party was attended by many civil servants, and one of the guests was Japel Filiaci, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society. He tells the News, "The police were grabbing people and beating people who were trying to leave. I was shocked. When I saw the helicopter overhead, I thought I was in the middle of a made-for-TV movie."
One guest suffered a broken leg during the brawl and another had broken ribs; other guests reported less serious injuries and several fell into the inground pool during the melee, which occurred around 2:30 a.m. Six out of the ten people filing the lawsuit were arrested in the fight, mainly on misdemeanor charges, but one guest was slapped with a felony charge of assaulting a police officer. The NYPD is investigating the incident, but the plaintiffs' attorney, Sanford Rubenstein (who represented the Sean Bell family) says, "It is unacceptable for law-abiding citizens to be assaulted by police and then falsely arrested to cover up these assaults."