Five months after agreeing to pay a $45,000 settlement to a man they arrested for recording them tasering a man on his front porch, the Allentown Police Department is being sued again.
This time, by the man they tasered and tortured that night.
One of the cops mentioned in the lawsuit filed Wednesday, Jason Ammary, is responsible for a $100,000 settlement dished out in February from another lawsuit when he tasered a 14-year-old girl in the groin for walking in the street in an incident captured on video.
Not surprisingly, he is also an award-winning officer.
The incident regarding the latest lawsuit took place in October 2014 when Alexander Aron, a 23-year-old black college student, was returning home from a friend’s house when he was stopped by police, accusing him of matching the description of “an Afro-American wearing sweats” who had held up a nearby grocery, according to The Morning Call.
When they demanded his identification, he told them he had to walk inside his house to retrieve it, so they followed him inside, even though he told them to wait outside to conduct an illegal search, the lawsuit states.
Aron then stepped back onto the front porch where he handed his identification to one of the cops, who then demanded that he state his name.
Aron told him his name was on his identification, which was when they ordered him to place his hands behind his back. When Aron asked why, the four cops pounced on him, punching him, kneeing him, tasering him, even though he was not resisting.
That was when Eli Heckman, who was walking by, pulled out his phone to start recording, which drew the attention of Ammary, who then ordered him to “get off the block” – even though Heckman had every legal right to be on the block.
When Heckman did not walk away fast enough, Ammary slammed him against a parked car, then smashed his phone.
Although the phone was damaged, the video survived, which is why charges were dismissed against both Aron and Heckman, and there is enough evidence to sue the cops.
Aron’s lawsuit is seeking $150,000. The three other officers named in the suit Andrew Holveck, who made the initial stop and has been sued in the past for another incident of police brutality caught on video, as well as Alexander Boehm and Anthony Bowland.
Aron is being represented by attorneys Robert Goldman and Joshua Karoly, the latter who filed a lawsuit last week against another officer, Joseph Iannetta, for kicking an armed robbery suspect in the head, leaving him with a broken jaw, in an incident that was also caught on video.