NJ teen to sue police over injuries

- Violated, broken and on bedrest with a dislocated shoulder, 8th grader Jamod Watkins was allegedly assaulted by undercover officers in Newark last week. His attorney says the officers failed to initially identify themselves.
"For no reason they just beat up this poor 14-year-old boy," said Rosemarie Arnold, Watkins's attorney.

Jamod was leaving his neighborhood store last Tuesday night after 7 o'clock when he says a black SUV pulled beside him and the men told him to stop. Fearful for his life, he says he tried to run, but then two more SUVs pulled up and blocked him in.

"When the cops verbally IDed themselves, without showing badges, he froze in his tracks put his hands in the air but nonetheless these police officers knocked him down and grabbed his left arm and pulled it behind his back with such force it cracked it in half," Arnold said.

Arnold said the officers were from the Newark Police Department and the Essex County Sheriff's Office and some worked with the gang task force. Watkins has no criminal history and has never been involved with gangs.

"It was terrifying," Watkins said.

"He was down on the ground about 7 minutes while they fondled his privates, while they handcuffed him and held his hands behind his back," Arnold said.

When he was finally released and got home, his mother Shaquanna Watkins immediately took him to the local police precinct where an ambulance was called.

"You know when your child cries a certain cry, if you're a mother, you know somethings not right," she said.

The Newark Police Department said one of the officers involved, Detective Wilberto Ruiz, has been suspended for failing to immediately submit a report about the encounter with Watkins. The other Newark officers have been reassigned and are being investigated.

Acting Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said in a statement: "This is an unfortunate incident; however, it is not a reflection on the entire Department but on the actions of a few."

Watkins, who has done well in school and plays multiple sports, now has to stay home for a month and out of baseball practice for at least three. He plans to sue for monetary damages. His attorneys want all of the officers involved arrested and charged with assault.

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