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WABC7 News : Lask defends Detective in Police Execessive Force Case

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Former detective suing troopers over bust, claims he's a victim of police brutality

Thursday, December 14, 2006

By Ken Rosato
(New Jersey-WABC, December 13, 2006) (WABC) -- A former police detective is suing two New Jersey state troopers, claiming he was the victim of police brutality.

The lawsuit says the officers beat him and used pepper spray during a traffic stop on the garden state parkway.

Eyewitness News reporter Ken Rosato has the latest from Newark.

New Jersey state troopers pepper spray a man whom they say is resisting arrest during a 2004 traffic stop. The twist is the man they're arresting is himself a police officer, in uniform, in an unmarked police car.

Susan Chana Lask, Wade's Attorney: "He then opened up the door, state trooper Colaner, and started wrenching on his wrist trying to pull him out of the vehicle while he was seat belted."

Now, detective Gary Wade is suing state trooper Michael Colaner for a million dollars. As captured on the trooper's own cruiser cam, Wade says the trooper roughed him up despite the fact that Wade was in uniform and driving an unmarked police car. He says the trooper pepper sprayed him and beat him unconscious.

But the state police say Wade passed them doing 90 miles an hour and would not identify himself as a police officer for over a minute. After the incident, Wade was convicted on charges of obstruction of justice and careless driving and was relieved of his duties.

But the detective is sticking to his story, insisting he was never speeding and that the troopers did not carry out their duties according to the rules. And now, he wants them to pay.

Susan Chana Lask, Wade's Attorney: "They claimed he was driving 90 miles per hour. That is untrue. If he was, we would have the beginning of the tape to prove their story."

Now, Mr. Wade arrived at the Newark attorney's office moments ago. He plans on speaking to the media within the hour. Then at 2 p.m. the New Jersey state police plan on giving their side of the story. They insist what they did was right and the actions of the troopers were correct. They said that Wade resist arrest and failed to identify himself as police immediately.