Philadelphia man who was allegedly beaten by cops files civil rights complaint

By Jon Campisi | Aug 23, 2011

A Philadelphia man who alleges he was unlawfully arrested and beaten by city cops has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia and the officer who initiated the supposed attack.

Newtown, Pa. attorneys Christopher J. Culleton and Bryan M. Ferris, of the firm Swartz Culleton PC, filed the federal complaint Aug. 22 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Rasheed Broadnax.

The defendant police officer listed is Thomas Calderon of the Philadelphia Police Department’s 25th District.

According to the complaint, Broadnax was talking on his cell phone during a break from work around 12:15 p.m. on Dec. 20, 2010 near 100 W. Clearfield St. when, suddenly and without warning, he was approached by Calderon and other cops who “illegally stopped, questioned, accosted, roughed up, assaulted, brutally attacked, arrested and detained the Plaintiff.”

During the attack, the officers beat Broadnax about his head, and continued their alleged assault once he was down on the ground, the lawsuit states. The plaintiff apparently offered no resistance during the attack.

As a result of the incident, Broadnax suffered left rib and chest wall contusions, left ankle and left wrist sprain and strain, bilateral knee contusions, a left thigh contusion, abrasions, jaw dysfunctions and other injuries, the lawsuit claims.

He also suffered “great pain, anguish, fear and consternation.”

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of violating Broadnax’s constitutional rights, specifically the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

“As the direct and proximate result of the aforesaid unlawful and malicious physical abuse of the Plaintiff by Officer Calderon, each of them committed under the color of state law under authority as a Philadelphia Police Department Police Officer, the Plaintiff suffered grievous bodily harm and was deprived of his right to be secure in his person, against unreasonable seizure of his person and the use of excessive force …,” the lawsuit states.

For each of the two counts listed in the complaint, Broadnax demands judgment against the defendants, individually, jointly and severally, in an amount in excess of $50,000, plus attorney’s fees, punitive damages and related court costs.

The plaintiff has demanded a jury trial.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-05310-BMS.

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