A Philadelphia police officer arrested last month on charges of bribery and extortion is also being sued for allegedly pistol-whipping a man and punching him in the face. Now, former Police Officer Jonathan Lazarde — who’d received an award for “excellent” policework — has three criminal cases on his back.
According to the suit, filed Wednesday, plaintiff Vaughn Adams was dragged out of his car by 12 police officers, including Lazarde. He was then handcuffed and attacked without provocation, he claims.
Months before he was charged with extortion, Lazarde was already being sued in another lawsuit filed by the other car passenger, Demetrius Clausell. The first lawsuit alleges Clausell was also dragged out of the car, handcuffed and hit so severely that after a hospital visit, “his jaw was wired shut.” He also accused Lazarde and his cohorts of false arrest and imprisonment. They denied all charges. Meanwhile, Lazarde was caught in May carrying $5,000 allegedly extorted from a man he’d arrested in exchange for obtaining his acquittal by avoiding court appearances.
Both lawsuits accuse the City of Philadelphia of negligence in allowing cases of police brutality and misbehavior to go uninvestigated and unpunished.
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